CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers have activated running back Jonathan Stewart from the physically unable to perform list.
Stewart is eligible to play in today's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The team waived running back Armond Smith on Saturday to make room for Stewart on the 53-man roster.
Stewart, a former first-round draft pick, has missed the first seven games recovering from an ankle injury. He's expected to split carries with running back DeAngelo Williams and fullback Mike Tolbert.
Stewart hasn't played since last November when he first injured his ankle. Stewart is Carolina's second-leading rusher behind Williams with 3,836 yards on 818 carries. He has rushed for 27 touchdowns. He caught 47 passes for 413 yards in 2011.
The New Orleans Saints activated linebacker Jonathan Vilma from the reserve injured list a day before they play his former team.
Vilma (knee) has practiced the past two weeks without any apparent limitations and was eligible for the first time this season to come off of short-term injured reserve.
The Saints play at the New York Jets today.
Vilma, who broke into the league with the New York Jets, had arthroscopic knee surgery in August. New Orleans also announced Saturday that it has have waived cornerback Chris Carr and that defensive end Tyrunn Walker (knee) will miss today's game.