WR Smith returns to confident, unbeaten Panthers
The receiver's two-game suspension for breaking teammate Ken Lucas' nose in a training camp fight ended Monday morning.
Smith did not speak to reporters.
"He's ready to roll," coach John Fox said. "Obviously he's excited to be back and excited that we're 2-0."
The Panthers insist they have gotten over the hard feelings created by Smith's sucker punch in camp. Smith slugged Lucas during a break in practice Aug. 1 while Lucas was on one knee with his helmet off.
The next day the Panthers suspended their three-time Pro Bowl selection without pay for the first two regular-season games. Smith apologized to the team a day after that, and Lucas said he accepted his apology.
Without their top playmaker, the Panthers stunned San Diego on Jake Delhomme's 14-yard touchdown pass to Dante Rosario as time expired in the season opener. On Sunday, the Panthers scored the game's final 17 points to knock off Chicago 20-17 for their first 2-0 start in five years.
The Panthers have until Wednesday to clear a roster spot for Smith, who has been on the reserve-suspended list. Carolina visits 0-2 Minnesota next Sunday.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press