Steve Smith expected back at practice on Sunday

Steve Smith will be back on the practice field soon.

The Carolina Panthers wide receiver has been sidelined with a foot infection but coach Ron Rivera said he expects the veteran to practice beginning Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Smith will not play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If he was healthy, he wouldn’t have made more than a brief appearance in the game. It’s a good thing Smith should be ready to go for the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 9. His career was re-energized with the arrival of quarterback Cam Newton last season and he’s the biggest playmaker on the roster.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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