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Greg Hardy is inactive for the Panthers vs. Lions

In light of Ray Rice's release in Baltimore, the Panthers have inactivated Greg Hardy for his involvement in a domestic violence dispute in March for which he was convicted.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have listed defensive end Greg Hardy as inactive for the team's Week 2 matchup against the Detroit Lions, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.

Hardy, 26, was convicted in July of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her in a March incident, but has appealed the conviction and is awaiting a November jury trial. He has not yet received a suspension from the NFL, as the league appears content to wait for the results of his November 17 appeal in Charlotte. Instead, Hardy practiced with the team in the days prior to the team's Week 2 matchup.

A Pro Bowler in 2013 with 15 sacks, Hardy started in the team's opener and recorded one sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, after a week that featured the release and indefinite suspension of Ray Rice for a domestic abuse incident, the Panthers have elected to remove Hardy from their lineup in Week 2.

On Friday, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera addressed the situation with Hardy, telling reporters that the defensive end would play on Sunday. While he said that stands "firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple" he wouldn't take action against Hardy:

Asked directly if he could say whether he expected Hardy to be with the team in the foreseeable future, Rivera said, "I can't [say], just because it's in the [legal] process. Whatever happens, happens. We'll keep going until something changes."

The last-minute change in plans from the Panthers is a surprise to me, including Hardy, who fully expected to play, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. Hardy will still receive his full salary for Week 2 while deactivated, as it is essentially a paid suspension from the team.