The Panthers got some good news at practice today, as out of nowhere receiver Steve Smith made a return to the field Friday morning, four days after suffering a right shoulder injury. Smith was dressed in full pads for the workout and began running drills with the other receivers after stretching. At one point he was waving both arms above his head while talking to a teammate, a welcome sight for a team that has little depth behind its four-time Pro Bowl selection.
Smith was injured Monday night when he hit the ground hard after a collision with cornerback Chris Gamble. Smith winced in pain, slammed his helmet to the ground and kicked it before being carted to the locker room.
He wore a sling on Tuesday and coach John Fox said he wasn’t sure if Smith would play in any preseason games. He was seen riding a stationary bike Wednesday and Thursday while the team practiced.
The receiver led the Panthers with 78 catches for 1,421 yards and six touchdowns last season.