We reported on Monday that Panthers receiver Steve Smith broke his arm Sunday, while playing in the championship game of a Charlotte-area adult flag football league.
And while Smith’s camp has tried to create the impression that the injury occurred after he fell down while working his youth football camp, the evidence points to a conclusion that, indeed, he suffered the injury while playing with grown ups.
For starters, it’s established that Smith’s camp took place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Associated Press reports unequivocally that the injury happened on Sunday.
Also, we reported that current Panthers receiver Kenny Moore and former Panthers quarterback Josh McCown also played in the league. McCown told the Charlotte Observer that he played with Smith in an adult flag football league, but that McCown wasn’t with Smith on Sunday. McCown explained that he had gone in the past “grudgingly” at the invitation of Smith, and McCown said he “felt bad” playing against weekend warriors.
Tom Sorensen of the Observer leaves no doubt: “As it was explained to me, [Smith] was playing in a flag football game Sunday
at the Siskey YMCA.”
The Panthers didn’t return a call from the Associated Press (they didn’t return our call, either), but they issued the following statement from G.M. Marty Hurney: “Steve talked to me and he feels terrible about it. Now
his focus is on rehabilitating process and getting back as quickly as he
That’s fine, but it’s the latest in a series of boneheaded moves by a player who has been far too reckless for his own good. Though not on par with sucker punching a teammate (twice), Smith should know by age 31 that he has no business risking injury while playing flag football with other adults.
And so he technically has breached his contract. The question is whether the Panthers will do anything about it. Given that the head coach is a lame duck and the G.M. has yet to sign an extension to a contract that expires this month, look for the powers-that-be to look the other way.