The collective sigh heard along the North Carolina-South Carolina border Monday night was from that of Carolina Panther fans finding out that their all-world wide receiver, Steve Smith, did not have a broken bone after his akward fall at practice.
During Moday's late practice session, Smith got tangled up with corner back Chris Gamble on a passing route. The receiver lost his footing after contact with Gamble and landed on his shoulder. From there, Smith spent the next few minutes on the ground, yelling out in pain while assistant trainer Reggie Scott worked to calm Smith down.
Following his on-the-ground injury tirade, Smith then got up and continued, seemingly in disgust rather than in pain, and yanked his helmet off and kicked it while giving his best Rhys Llyod impersonation. Luckily, Smith did not break his toe kicking the helmet.
As far as Smith's shoulder goes, it was described as "strained" and "structurally sound" with no breaks. Upon a review of Smith's motions following the injury, the shoulder did not look dislocated, but anything else would be speculation at this point.
The only other semi-definitive piece of information about the injury was contained in a statement released late Monday by Smith's agent, Derrick Fox. Fox said that Smith "likely would miss a minimum of two weeks with what appears to be a strained shoulder."
Smith's agent, unwittingly, came up with just enough time for his prized client to miss the Panthers' first two preseason games.
Smith may just be a bit banged up and ready to go in no time, but do not expect to see No. 89 going up for jump balls over the middle in the Panthers' pre-season games. Sorry Carolina fans, but there is a good chance Steve Smith may not even appear in any preseason Panther games this year.