The Panthers' second-ranked rushing attack is getting some reinforcements.

Rookie running back Kenjon Barner returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his foot in the third preseason game at Baltimore.

More importantly veteran running back Jonathan Stewart is on track to come off the physically unable to perform list when he's eligible in Week 7 Panthers coach Ron Rivera said recently. Stewart continues to rehab his surgically repaired right ankle.

Without a trusted backup DeAngelo Williams has averaged 20 carries a game and is the league's third-leading rusher with 291 yards through three games. Only LeSean McCoy (395) and Doug Martin (297) have more rushing yards than Williams.

Williams has made it clear he didn't like how he was used under former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. But he has thrived under Chud's successor Mike Shula who runs a more traditional rushing offense with the zone read sprinkled in as a change of pace.

Still for a 30-year-old back who was relied on heavily in college at Memphis getting some backfield help should be beneficial especially as the season goes on.