Steve Smith isn't sure about Week One status

Love him or hate him, Panthers wideout is one of the most straightforward players in the NFL.

Ask him a question, and he’ll answer it honestly.

Asked if he’ll be on the field for Carolina’s opener against the Eagles, Smith said the only sane response possible on August 11, one day after he suffered a shoulder injury.

“If I can play, then I’m playing, whether it be preseason or regular
season,” Smith said Tuesday. “If I can’t play, I won’t play. If I’m not
going to be effective and be able to compete, then it’s not best for
the team.”

The reality is that Smith doesn’t know when he’ll return, and the Panthers don’t either at this stage.  Smith sounds like a man who was in a lot of pain Tuesday.

“I felt it immediately,” he told the Gaston Gazette. “The good thing is, I thought it was
broke, because it started hurting immediately. But it’s not, so we’ll
be playing it by ear.”

Smith hurt the same shoulder last training camp, and thought he took the necessary steps to avoid it getting hurt again.

“It was more frustration because I worked my tail off this offseason to
strengthen it and make sure it didn’t happen. But then also, those
freak things happen,” Smith said.

Smith may undergo an MRI at a later date, but that the team won’t tell the media about if if he does.

Apparently, his honest approach has its limits.