Panthers WR Smith says he will play vs. 49ers


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Panthers were back to work on the field Wednesday afternoon for their Divisional Round playoff game vs. the 49ers.

The biggest question mark is whether wide receiver Steve Smith will be at 100 percent for the game.

He was limited in practice on Wednesday.

Smith posted a photo of a lion to his Instagram account Wednesday saying, "Big day. Back on the field ... an Old lion hunger too. Don't let youth fool."

Earlier this week, Smith said he will play Sunday, but what he can't predict is how his sprained left knee will feel during the game.

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"It's not about can I go. It's about how confident do I feel when I am going. I will play Sunday. But it's about how much I don't worry about the knee --- and that's when the confidence increases,” Smith said Monday.

The 34-year-old Smith said the knee "felt good" after doing some cutting during a light practice Monday.

IN PHOTOS: Stats, nuggets, history Panthers vs. 49ers

Smith, Carolina's all-time leader in touchdowns, sprained his posterior cruciate ligament in Carolina's week 16 win over New Orleans and sat out the regular season finale against Atlanta. NFL insider David Newton is breaking down how Smith may be a bigger concern for the Panthers than the 49ers Michael Crabtree who has been on a tear since returning from injury.

Crabtree had eight catches for 125 yards in Sunday's 23-20 victory over Green Bay.  Read Newton's blog here.

IMAGES: Renderings for Bank of America Stadium

Panthers Pride Kickoff Party live Friday

Channel 9 will bring you everything Panthers playoffs in prime time Friday night.

Join Eyewitness News anchors Erica Bryant and Blair Miller at 8 p.m. for the Panthers’ Pride Kickoff Party live from the EpiCentre. We will have player interviews, important information for fans about traffic, parking and tickets.

Plus David Newton will be answering fans’ questions live on Twitter. The show airs live from 8 - 9 p.m.

For more details on the live show, click here.