Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and the rest of the Carolina Panthers were practicing Wednesday and Thursday this week. It looks like the Panthers will have a full complement of players for this weekend's Divisional playoff game against the 49ers.
Having Steve Smith back, even if he is somewhat less than a 100 percent, is big news for Carolina. In a very low scoring game against the 49ers earlier this year, Smith still managed 6 catches for 63 yards. Smith's presence will force San Francisco to respect the pass game and lead to some holes for DeAngelo Williams , Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton. If the return of Jonathan Stewart diminishes DeAngelo Williams' numbers, expect the play of Steve Smith to actually help them somewhat.
As for Stewart's return, if you think Williams is a long shot to put up big numbers against San Fran, expect Stewart to contribute even less. Although both still have big play potential, Stewart has seen few carries when healthy this year and may not have the opportunities to put up points.
Needless to say, the return of both of these injured players will help Cam Newton, who will have his favorite receiver and multiple trusted running backs to turn to.