Steve Smith is expected back at practice Sunday

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Despite a foot infection that has relegated him to crutches, Panthers receiver Steve Smith is inching closer to a return to the field.

According to the Associated Press, coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that Smith is expected to return to practice Sunday.

It’ll give Smith a full week to get ready for Carolina’s season-opening game at Tampa.

Rivera isn’t ruling out Smith or any other injured players for Week One, including linebacker Jon Beason, tackle Jordan Gross, running back Jonathan Stewart, and fullback Mike Tolbert.