Ron Rivera hints Steve Smith will skip Sunday’s game


Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith’s infected foot has responded to antibiotics, but it still doesn’t sound like the Panthers plan to put him on the field against the Jets on Sunday.

Smith missed a second day of practice on Thursday and coach Ron Rivera said that a determination of his status for Sunday will come on Friday. Rivera made it clear that the team hasn’t yet made a choice, although his comments about the risks of putting Smith on the field with limited practice time suggest he’s leaning in the direction of giving Smith the night off.

“Putting him out there right now in this situation and circumstances would not be smart, especially if he doesn’t get any practice reps in terms of what we do,” Rivera said, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “This is really a game-plan week. We’re approaching this week as if we would any regular-season game. … To put a guy out there when he hasn’t had a chance to get those reps would be careless.”

There’s no talk of Smith missing Week One because of the infected foot and making sure that doesn’t change should be the Panthers’ top priority with a veteran receiver who already knows the offense.