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Thursday, September 7, 2006
Smith misses practice again, still questionable

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers All-Pro receiver Steve Smith missed practice again Thursday and remains questionable for the season opener against Atlanta.

"Right now it's day-to-day and when it comes down to Sunday it will be a game-day decision," coach John Fox said.

Smith was limited to 10 practices in the preseason because of a strained left hamstring and an ingrown toenail that required stitches. He did not play in any of Carolina's four preseason games.

Smith then tweaked his right hamstring in practice Tuesday and was held out of Wednesday's workout.

"Nothing has changed on the injuries," Fox said.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme doesn't believe Smith's lack of practice time will be a problem if he plays against the Falcons on Sunday.

"I don't think so because he's been out there a good bit practicing with us and he looked pretty darn good," Delhomme said. "Certainly you would like him out there but that's the way it goes sometimes."

Smith led the NFL with 103 catches for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, earning his second career Pro Bowl trip. No other Panthers' receiver caught more than 25 passes.

If Smith can't play, Keary Colbert and Drew Carter are expected to split time at receiver opposite Keyshawn Johnson, who was signed by Carolina in the offseason.

Cornerback Ken Lucas, who suffered a bruised arm in practice Wednesday, was back at practice Thursday and not added to the injury report.

Linebacker Na'il Diggs (knee) and defensive tackle Jordan Carstens (elbow) remained listed as questionable.