Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has torn MCL

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- An MRI shows Panthers' backup running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee in Sunday night's 31-13 loss to New Orleans.

Carolina spokesman Charlie Dayton announced the injury Monday.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Stewart will be out a minimum of 10 days, but remains optimistic he could return at some point this season.

Stewart will not play Sunday against the New York Jets. The Panthers (9-4) are positioned for a postseason berth with three games left.

Stewart was injured when tackled in the lower right leg by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in the third quarter at the Superdome.

It's been a rough season for Stewart, who missed the first seven games of the year on the physically unable to perform list with an ankle injury.