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Panthers RB Stewart plans to return Nov. 3

The SportsXchange

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart said Tuesday he plans to return for the first time in a year on Nov. 3 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Stewart received a standing ovation earlier in the day when he returned to the practice field for the first time since injuring his right ankle last Nov. 26.

"Wow, he ruined the surprise,'' Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in confirming the team's plans.

Stewart, who underwent offseason surgery on both ankles, spent the first six games this season on the physically unable to perform list. He will remain there through Thursday night's game at Tampa Bay.

The Panthers (3-3) have 21 days to decide whether to activate the team's second all-time leading rusher now that he's returned to practice.

Stewart, who signed a five-year, $36.5 million extension in August of 2012, averaged 875 yards rushing and six touchdowns during his first four seasons.

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