Greg Hardy didn’t travel to New Orleans with Panthers

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Sunday’s Saints-Panthers game has no bearing on the playoff chase, but there are still some individual players wrapping up notable seasons.

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy is one of those players. Hardy has a career-high 11 sacks this season, making his play a bright spot in what’s been a largely disappointing season in Carolina. Hardy might not get a chance to add to that total on Sunday, however.

Hardy did not travel with the team to New Orleans on Saturday and has been downgraded from probable to questionable as he deals with a family issue. Hardy didn’t practice all week because of the issue, which coach Ron Rivera called serious and said had to do with his mother. A team spokesman said it was unclear whether or not he’d join the team in time for the game and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer couldn’t reach Hardy or his agent for any more information.

Hardy, a 2010 sixth-round pick, is signed through next season and a repeat of his work in 2012 could make him a fixture on the Panthers defensive line for several years to come.