Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith is not practicing Wednesday. Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer says Smith is still "taking it easy" on his left knee, which he bruised Tuesday morning in practice. Smith was on the field Wednesday but not in pads. Smith hurt the knee trying to break up a pass, but fell hard to the ground after knocking the ball out of the hands of cornerback Josh Thomas.
Analysis: On Tuesday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Smith was fine and had anticipated Smith being back on practice Wednesday. Even though Smith isn't practicing, this doesn't sound serious and shouldn't be a concern this early in the preseason. Even at 100 percent, Smith wouldn't see much action in Carolina's preseason opener on Saturday against Houston. The team has every reason to take precautions to keep Smith healthy as he caught 79 passes last season for nearly 1,400 yards.
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