Last Saturday night, in the first quarter of the Carolina Panthers preseason victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Matt Moore hit Steve Smith with a 19-yard pass. Smith hauled it in but got his bell rung when he took a helmet-to-helmet blow from Colts defensive back Antoine Bethea.
Some will call it poetic justice. Some will call it payback. Others will just call it a concussion.
I personally think it’s an injury that should be taken seriously and not considered to be some kind of karma or payback.
The team will be travelling to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Tough Love, where they boo Santa Claus, to play the Eagles. Smitty will probably not be making the trip with the team since these kinds of injuries are handled with extra care by coach John Fox, who lists his star receiver as “day to day.”
Steve-O already missed Monday’s practice session, the team’s first since the exhibition opener, and could miss more time than that with this injury.
Thursday night could be a preview of coming attractions since the Panthers know they’ll be without Smith’s services for the first two regular season games due to the sucker punch(es) he landed to the right eye and nose of Ken Lucas back on August 1st.
D.J. Hackett has been ailing a bit in training camp but is the presumed starter should Smitty not be able to go Thursday night, just like he is expected to do for two weeks this September.
In a related story, Ken Lucas had a procedure last week to set his broken nose and has been allowed by the training staff to do some light work on a field adjacent to the team’s regular practice field.
Also on the injury front, others who didn’t work with the team on Monday included tight end Gary Barnidge (gluteal strain), receiver D.J. Hackett (foot), defensive tackle Ian Scott (knee), safety Chris Harris (upper leg), cornerback Chris Gamble (hamstring) and tight end Dante Rosario (hamstring).