RB Jonathan Stewart (Chuck Burton/AP)
Every cloud has a silver lining. For the Carolina Panthers -- who practiced under heavy rainfall on Saturday -- the silver lining was the return of RB Jonathan Stewart. And Stewart wasn't the only ailing star seen at Wofford College; a defensive stalwart was jogging again and hoping for an early return.
Alex Montgomery's training camp reports: Aug. 7 | Aug. 9 | Aug. 10 | Aug. 11
Also, check out the training camp reports by Wofford College FB Arsenio Parks:
July 29 | July 30 | July 31 | Aug. 1 | Aug. 2 | Aug. 3 | Aug. 4 | Aug. 5 | Aug. 6
The long-awaited return of a key player was the highlight of the morning as the Panthers returned to the practice field on Monday.
Jonathan Stewart was fully dressed and ran plays with the second team during a scrimmage. His action was limited and non-contact, but fans were happy to see him suited up and on the field again.
Dwayne Jarrett started practice off right with a crowd-pleasing diving catch on a ball from Matt Moore. They also hooked up on a nice post route and for a touchdown during the goal-line drills. Jarrett did botch one reception that was very catchable, but he hauled in most of the balls thrown his way.
Oliver Young also earned cheers from the onlookers as he streaked down the sideline and laid out to catch a pass from Jimmy Clausen.
David Gettis, Armanti Edwards and Wallace Wright ran crisp routes all morning, earning praise from the coaches. Wright made an impressive catch in traffic on a ball from Clausen and broke free up-field for a score.
Tyrell Sutton got many reps and often broke through the line or evaded defenders to get into open space.
Moore threw the most touchdown passes (four) but also tossed two interceptions; Clausen accounted for two touchdowns. Hunter Cantwell was accurate but made no big plays and Tony Pike was often called out for holding onto the ball too long.
Noah Franklin botched a few snaps to Jimmy Clausen in the shotgun, two of which resulted in fumbles.
Charles Johnson gave fans and coaches a treat as he picked off Matt Moore during a scrimmage. Captain Munnerlyn also came up with an interception from Moore.
Sherrod Martin was impressive with his shut-down coverage and ability to break up passes. Brian Witherspoon, C.J. Wilson, James Anderson and R.J. Stanford also received shout-outs from coaches for their superior defense.
Greg Hardy and Derek Landri deflected line-drive passes from Cantwell and Moore, respectively.
During the goal-line drills, the defense allowed only one touchdown in 12 plays (Moore to Jarrett).
Monsoon-like weather plagued the evening session, but the team kept an abbreviated schedule in front of a sparse, soaked crowd in Gibbs Stadium.
Wallace Wright made a great grab on a perfect spiral from Matt Moore. Moore also connected with Jeff King on a 15-yard post route.
Josh Vaughan showed exceptional agility to break off a nice run down the sidelines despite the soggy turf.
The offense was not very prolific during scrimmages, but the quarterbacks looked very accurate despite the rain.
Stewart participated only in positional drills during the evening session.
Chris Gamble is back and making nice plays, including an excellent break-up of a Moore pass to Jarrett. He also made a stiff tackle on Sutton at the line of scrimmage.
James Anderson exploded through the defensive line on a blitz en route to a sack on Moore.
Brian Witherspoon intercepted an underthrown Clausen pass.
Eric Norwood kept constant pressure on the quarterbacks and caught Josh Vaughan for a tackle for loss.
"Come on, Jimmy, you gotta catch the snap before you can do anything else!" – Quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer to Jimmy Clausen after a botched shotgun snap during the goal-line session.
"When you make a cut like that, you know you got him!" – Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert to Wallace Wright during one-on-one drills.
"Great job, 66! Good mechanics!" – Linebackers coach Richard Smith to Eric Moore during a scrimmage.
Thomas Davis was spotted jogging up and down the sidelines during practice and looks to be well on the road to recovery. There is still a chance he could return late this season.
Tyler Brayton was not seen practicing or working out on the sidelines following his ankle injury on Thursday night.
Aaron Francisco, Chris Gamble, Charly Martin and Jordan Senn all worked with medicine balls on the empty fields.
Can LB Thomas Davis play this season? Talk about it inside the message boards.
Alex Montgomery is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Professional Writing. He has worked for the Western Carolinian and The Kernersville News and currently resides in Kernersville, NC.