Wide receiver Steve Smith has broken his left arm twice in the past seven months. The Panthers are confident that his latest fracture will heal quickly.
According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, the Panthers are targeting their preseason finale for Smith to return to game action. La Canfora reports Smith is “making good strides” in his recovery, and that a Week One “return [is] looking good” for the four-time Pro Bowler.
Ideally, Smith will get in at least some practice time before the opener. The Panthers have one of the youngest quarterback situations in the league, with 25-year-old Matt Moore heading up a depth chart that also includes 22-year-old rookie Jimmy Clausen and 24-year-old Hunter Cantwell.
Practice reps will be valuable for Carolina’s No. 1 receiver if Smith hopes to open the season in strong fashion.