Steve Smith jokes that finger might keep him out

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Panthers wide receiver was held out of practice Thursday, with an all-too-appropriate dislocated middle finger.

Asked about his status, Smith looked back and reporters and said: “I think I’m out. I’m out for Sunday.”

He was kidding, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, as there’s not much that would keep him out of Sunday’s game with the Saints for the NFC South lead.

His absence came the day after a Cam Newton pass hit the tip of his left middle finger and dislocated it.

“I don’t know exactly what the situation is. I’m just trying to make it through, . . . 24 hours after,” Smith said. “Take one out of Bill Belichick’s [book], I’m day-to-day.”

Smith was out of practice Thursday, a day after a tipped Cam Newton pass hit the tip of the middle finger on Smith’s left hand and dislocated the finger. The injury occurred near the end of Wednesday’s practice.


“They just popped it back in and had it bandaged up today, so he should be fine. They wanted to let it calm down. They didn’t want to irritate it any more than it needed to be,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “I expect him to come out (Friday) run around, catch the ball and be ready to roll.”

Smith’s no longer the downfield threat he used to be, but he’s still the guy Newton looks for at crucial times, and he’s still more than capable of making plays even if he was nine-fingered.