Steve Smith, Panthers Wide Receiver Will Be Out Week 17 Against FalconsBy: Tobias Roth - December 28, 2013
Steve Smith has become one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL while playing for the Carolina Panthers. Due to a recent injury in an intense game against the Saints, he will be forced to sit out for the final game of the season.
Although Steve Smith has been the favorite target of Cam Newton for much of the time that the two of them have been playing together, he will have to turn to someone else as his main receiver on Sunday.
The offense struggled without him in week 16, and without the help of another late comeback from superstar quarterback Cam Newton, they may have lost to the Saints, and hurt their chances of making the playoffs.
Brandon LaFell is now the main target for Newton, and should have what it takes to get the job done until Steve Smith can return. Ted Ginn has also been doing well lately, and is likely to step up in the absence of Steve Smith
He is likely to make an appearance for their first round of the playoffs with the MRI revealing the injury to be not quite as serious as he might have thought.
He said he heard a “pop” in the first quarter of their last game, but the MRI has revealed that he has a PCL sprain, which should not keep him off the field for too long.
With their last win at home against the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers secured the second spot in the playoffs, and with another win on Sunday, they could make their chances of getting a top spot even better.
The NFC playoff picture is wide open heading into week 17, and with only 3 teams that have clinched so far, anything could happen still in terms of seeds, and the teams that make it.
The Carolina Panthers are currently one of the hottest teams in the league, and even without Steve Smith, Cam Newton should have no trouble leading them to another victory against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers are 11-4 in the NFC South, meanwhile the Falcons have an opposite record of 4-11, and have continued to struggle throughout the season.
If the Panthers are to play in the first round, which would take place next week, coach Ron Rivera believes that Steve Smith would be ready to get back on the field. He said that he would never bet against him, and as one of the leading receivers in the NFL, and a leader on the team, he will be missed on the field.
Image via Twitter