Source: Panthers fear Stewart has torn MCL

Updated: December 9, 2013, 1:58 PM ET news services

The Carolina Panthers believe running back Jonathan Stewart has a torn MCL in his right knee, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Stewart was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Monday to determine potential damage from a third-quarter hit in Sunday night’s 31-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Team officials initially called the injury a knee contusion but later indicated it could be more serious. Coach Ron Rivera would not speculate, other than to say “we’ll see how it is.”

Stewart was hit on the knee by New Orleans cornerback Keenan Lewis at the end of a 16-yard reception and run. He got up slowly on the Saints’ sideline and then jogged with a noticeable limp across the field.

He did not return to the game but did return to the sideline with the knee wrapped.

Stewart was put on the physically unable to perform list before the season as he recovered from offseason surgery on both ankles. He returned after missing the first eight weeks.

He has 180 yards on 48 carries and seven receptions for 44 yards this season. Panthers reporter David Newton contributed to this report.

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