Panthers veteran wide receiver Steve Smith missed practice on Wednesday and went to a doctor for an examination of what his team described as a left foot infection.
Following his exam, Smith was seen on crutches but is expected to be ready by his team’s opener vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 9.
Carolina coach Ron Rivera was unsure exactly what was wrong with Smith’s foot but that he didn’t think it was anything serious. He said he would know more after meeting with the Panthers’ medical staff.
According to the Observer, Carolina’s No. 2 receiver Brandon LaFell also didn’t seem that concerned about the injury, calling Smith “an Ironman.”
CBS Sports reports that Smith will have his foot treated with antibiotics, but his status for the Panthers’ final two preseasons games — the Jets this Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers the following Thursday — is up in the air.
Besides Steve Smith, the Panthers are missing the presence of middle linebacker Jon Beason, who was held out of practice with a strained hamstring.
Entering his 12 season with the Panthers, Steve Smith has become the main receiving target for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.
In 2011, the 33-year-old, five-time Pro Bowler had 79 catches for nearly 1400 yards and seven TDs. He also became the 35th player in the history of the NFL to amass 10,000 receiving yards.
Over the course of his career, Steve Smith has accumulated 10,278 receiving yards and 59 receiving TDs on 699 receptions. The talented athlete has also put together an impressive stat-line for Carolina’s special teams unit with 4,023 total return yards and six return touch downs.