Panthers expect Steve Smith to be healthy for season opener

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wednesday August 29, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he expects five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith will return to practice Sunday and play in the Sept. 9 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rivera says Smith is "improving" after developing a foot infection earlier in the week.

Smith, who didn't practice, is among several key players sitting out Thursday night's preseason finale against the Steelers. Linebacker Jon Beason, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, running back Jonathan Stewart and fullback Mike Tolbert are also out. Rivera isn't ruling anyone out at this point for the season opener.

Rivera says his starters will see "minimal" action against the Steelers, if they play at all.

The Panthers (No. 20 in the AP Pro32) trim their roster to 53 players on Friday.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 167869605 - wrdw.com/a?a=167869605