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Steve Smith expects to play on Sunday

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Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had the weekend off to ice up his sprained knee and word out of Charlotte was that the team expects to have him at practice on Wednesday.

Smith said Monday, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that he had the same expectation and is feeling stronger after two weeks off. Smith initially said he gave himself a 60 percent chance of playing, but then said he expects to play and that he was referring to his confidence that his knee will be able to hold up.

Smith is always a vital presence in the Panthers offense and their need for him is particularly acute for this game. Points were at a premium during the regular season matchup between the Panthers and 49ers and things don’t figure to be much different this time around, making Cam Newton’s top target central to the Panthers’ chances of winning.

Person reports Smith took part in the offensive install period of Monday’s practice before working on the side. Running back Jonathan Stewart, tight end BenĀ Hartsock, defensive tackle Colin Cole and safety Quintin Mikell didn’t practice on Monday, although the Panthers expect to have Stewart and Cole back on Wednesday as well.

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22 Responses to “Steve Smith expects to play on Sunday”
  1. rubenxx7 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:07 PM

    he will not make a difference in the game if he plays ornot

  2. fentresspatrice52 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:08 PM

    Yes!!!!!!!! Smith is back! #panthersssssssss

  3. spicymudbugs says: Jan 6, 2014 1:14 PM

    Big deal. So the Panthers lose by 14 instead of 21
    One and done

  4. nfloracle says: Jan 6, 2014 1:16 PM

    That knee still sounds problematic. I think if I were making the decisions, I’d give him one more week of enforced rest rather than taking the chance of doing an RG3 on him.

    By not playing this week and after the Cats claw the Niners, Smitty will be a lot closer to 100% for the run for the Ring. Cam, of course, without Smith, will have to bring his A game for a full sixty minutes but with the Panther’s dominant defense a win is still doable.

  5. 87hollywoodhorn says: Jan 6, 2014 1:19 PM

    Oh okay, I get it. Steve Smith expects to “play” on “sunday”. Well let me tell you, the Who Dats don’t intend on playing around. We expect to WIN on SATURDAY.

  6. justintuckrule says: Jan 6, 2014 1:22 PM

    Battle of the d-bag qbs.

  7. mmsierra says: Jan 6, 2014 1:22 PM

    I just a little surprised that we’re the 1 point favorite in this game

    Getting Crabtree back and having Vernon Davis available for the whole game will make a difference

    And watch out for our rookie WR Quinton Patton

  8. justintuckrule says: Jan 6, 2014 1:26 PM

    If Carolina keeps one-read Kapernick in the pocket, Carolina wins this game by 14.

  9. cletusvandam says: Jan 6, 2014 1:27 PM

    Man this is going to be a good game. As a 49er fan I hope Smith plays. I also hope Carlos Rogers and E Wright play for SF.
    May the best team win.

  10. JSpicoli says: Jan 6, 2014 1:32 PM

    Ice up son

  11. clelek05 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:32 PM

    Punk!

  12. JSpicoli says: Jan 6, 2014 1:35 PM

    Rules and Regulations

  13. panthers1895859 says: Jan 6, 2014 1:59 PM

    All these 49er fans have been pumped up too much by the media. Yeah they got Crabtree back and he had a heck of a ball game yesterday. And also unless something unfortunate happens Vernon Davis and Aldon smith will play the whole game. But panthers played one of the best offenses in the league in the saints and held them to 13 points who have jimmy Graghm/colston/sproles/Moore and lets not forget Bree’s is a far better Qb. We also won that one without Steve Smith which has been the reason the offense has fizzled lately. Cam will be let loose in the playoffs and those legs have the potential to turn any game into a win. Plus if smith is 100% he will be a force to be reckoned with. Because he wants and deserves a ring. This panthers team will play with intensity and passion as they are always looked down upon no matter what they do. Panthers defense is a far cry from packers 22nd pass D and 29th rush D. I think either team could win and both are very good teams but of course I’m going with my panthers. 24-17.

  14. goldrush94 says: Jan 6, 2014 2:19 PM

    panthers1895859…
    Saints have scored only 8 points more than the Niners entire season (414 vs. 408). So your argument that Panthers held Saints to 13 points means they’ll do better against the Niners is flawed. In the head to head match up, Niners also held the Panthers to 10 points. They didn’t have V.Davis or Crabtree in that game. We’ll see how much a difference those two make. Add that to the fact that the Niners have the bitter taste of last year’s super bowl loss on their pallets, I wouldn’t sink into my couch for this game quite yet. It’ll be a tougher game for the Panthers than you think.

  15. ctiggs says: Jan 6, 2014 2:22 PM

    I love as a player Steve Smith, but it wont matter he is old. Niners 35 Kittens 17. #Noonehasitbetter

  16. panthers1895859 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:03 PM

    @goldrush94…I wasn’t saying the panthers would do better against the 49ers because they only allowed 13 to NO. Which they only allowed 9 to 49ers. I was just saying that because all the 49ers fans keep saying cause they have back Crabtree and Davis they are going to crush panthers. I was stating that panthers D can hold their own against good receiving corps even when it’s a Qb like Bree’s throwing the ball. I know anything can happen on any given Sunday and think 49ers have a more well rounded offense. But just don’t think it will be a blow out cause of a WR and a TE being back. Also I never once said I thought it would be an easy game for the panthers. Actually I said the opposite by saying that both teams are good and i think either team could come away victorious. I stand by my team and my prediction is 24-17 carolina but like I said I believe either team could win.

  17. samapoc says: Jan 6, 2014 3:11 PM

    Crabtree is terrible, please stop discussing him. Smith is on his last one or two seasons in the nfl, probably won’t be a factor.

  18. goldrush36 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:28 PM

    I wouldn’t get too overconfident about a 14 point or even a big win there Panthers fans. This game will be close. We were also down Crabtree, Patton, Celek, Davis was out early. McDonald was playing on a bum ankle. It was Aldon’s first game back and you were the hottest team in the league and squeeked out a 10-9 win. Which may have not even been a win if McDonald doesnt drop that wide open deep pass in the 4th. Now Smith is 100% for you guys. I expect a great game but this is a much different 49ers team. Looking forward to a slugfest. Good luck

  19. chris49erallen says: Jan 6, 2014 3:29 PM

    Sprained pcl even stage 1 sprain is at least a 2 month recovery time.

  20. thebirdofprey2 says: Jan 6, 2014 3:46 PM

    Panther fans see all of those excuses the 49er fans posted for why they lost to you guys? Try listen to that every off-season, or why they are number 5 seed in the playoffs this year.

    They constantly list off guys like Patton, Celek, Manningham like they are somehow legit game changers. Panthers earned home-field and have shown that they can be the bully in this match up.

    I say 49ers have more offensive weapons but Panthers get far more pressure and disruption with front 7. This game will probably go down to the last few plays and I think its more likely Cam Newton makes a big throw than Kaepernick breaks contain against a sound defense.

  21. realitycheckbaby says: Jan 6, 2014 6:29 PM

    Smith should consider sitting this one out.

    Hasn’t he heard Crabtree is the best receiver in the HISTORY of the NFL?

    Not just currently — ever.

    He’ll be embarrassed.

  22. jgedgar70 says: Jan 7, 2014 4:39 PM

    Another factor that I think 49ers fans are overlooking is the linebackers. Green Bay has Clay Matthews and a bunch of marshmellows, and Matthews didn’t play Sunday. No Packers LB that played has anything close to the speed of Kuechly and Thomas Davis, and even Chase Blackburn has excelled in our D. I think they will keep Kapernick in the pocket, and I think everyone knows that he is not a great pocket QB. Cam has done very well the last few games as a pocket QB, so I think he stands to make more plays from the pocket than Kapernick.

    As for Smith, he’s plenty iced up. He will play.

    Panthers 20, 49ers 17

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