Panthers' Steve Smith has knee sprain, listed as doubtful

Dec. 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith has a knee sprain -- not a torn ligament as feared -- and is doubtful for next week, Coach Ron Rivera said Monday.

Smith's left knee injury, sustained while trying to make a catch Sunday against New Orleans, prompted concerns he would miss the rest of the season. But Rivera calmed those fears, calling the 13-year veteran "week-to-week."

He suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament and will likely miss the NFC South leaders' regular-season finale against Atlanta.

Smith is the Panthers' second-leading receiver with 64 catches, good for 745 yards with four touchdowns over 15 games this season.

Carolina needs a win Sunday to claim the divisional title and a bye in the first round in the playoffs.

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