Stewart underwent surgery on both ankles during the off-season, forcing him to miss the opening eight weeks of the current campaign in which the Panthers have won four and lost three matches.
However, the 26-year-old returned to practice today and revealed that it "felt good" to be back playing full-contact football.
"I feel ready. Today was a good step forward, putting the pads on. It felt good going out there and hitting the field full speed with some contact and running plays with contact," Stewart told reporters.
"It's different going from running sprints and pulling sleds, even just walkthroughs half speed here or half speed there. Today was a good step. It was fun. It was good to be back out there in the huddle, and everything feels good right now.
"Just the progress that has been made, especially the last two months and being out there with the guys, being back there with [full-back] Mike [Tolbert] in front of you, it calms you down."
Stewart is currently still on the Panthers' physically unable to perform list but is expected to be activated in time for Sunday's match against the Atlanta Falcons.