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January 06, 2014

Steve Smith says he'll play vs. Niners

Panthers receiver Steve Smith said it's not a matter of whether he'll play Sunday against San Francisco.

The veteran wideout said he's more concerned with his comfort level with his left knee.

Smith, who sprained his posterior cruciate ligament in the first half against the Saints on Dec. 22, said he would play against the Niners in the divisional-round game at Bank of America Stadium.

"It's not about can I go? It's about how confident do I feel when I am going? I will play Sunday," Smith said. "But it's how much of that I don't worry about the knee. That's when the confidence increases.

"And that's by still doing treatment, still doing things everyday to build that muscle memory, to know where my limit is on how to bend it and all that stuff. And truly, that only can be worked out by pushing it more and more every day."

Smith said he "crushed" his rehab Monday, when he worked out on the side during the Panthers' practice. He ran on a treadmill Sunday, and said he has begun cutting, too.

"Cardio's a little challenging," Smith said. "But the leg is pretty good. Cardio kicked my butt."

Smith said he expects to practice Wednesday. Even at less than 100 percent, Smith will help the Panthers' passing offense, teammates and coaches said.

With Smith sidelined for the Week 17 win at Atlanta, the Panthers' top three receivers combined for four catches for 22 yards. No. 2 receiver Brandon LaFell was targeted five times against the Falcons, but had no receptions.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 6, 2014 at 02:18 PM | Permalink


ice up son

Posted by: big gulps | Jan 6, 2014 3:27:27 PM

This offseason we really need to address the wide receiver position. Whether it's picking up someone in free agency (ie Nicks) or drafting someone in the first round. Honestly, I think we need to do both because Lafell isn't cutting it for me as a starter and Smith a literally on his last leg.

Posted by: steven | Jan 6, 2014 4:54:32 PM

If I was the Panthers, I'd be putting in a new playbook. Plays that play to our strengths for sure. They've been lacking offense lately.

Posted by: Big Rob | Jan 6, 2014 6:33:25 PM

smith sprained his knee.....that's a temporary injury - not major. he might gimp through playoffs but he'll be fine next year.

given our offense - WR shouldn't be a priority. if it's there it's there, but tackle (to replace gross) , OLB (to replace beason), defensive back are all much bigger needs than receiver. we address all of that and resign hardy, then we can talk WR.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 7, 2014 10:49:43 AM

LOL... 11 out of 12 and we need a new playbook? HAAAA!

Posted by: Me | Jan 7, 2014 11:10:43 AM

3 big names wr coming out that will possible be there at our pick. 1st choice is Jordan Matthews from Vanderbilt, 2nd choice is Allen Robinson from Penn State, and 3rd is Kelvin Benjamin from Florida state.Then we should go

2nd OT
3rd OG
4th FS or Cb
5th OLB
6th Cb or SS
7th Speedy Wr

Posted by: PantherPride28 | Jan 7, 2014 11:40:32 AM

LaFell has disappered in the past two games. You'd think he'd play ever harder and pick things up considering his contract is up.

Posted by: PantherD | Jan 8, 2014 10:19:01 AM

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