Panthers receiver Steve Smith expects to play against 49ers

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Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith says he’ll play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith says he’ll play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs.

What he can’t predict is how his sprained left knee will feel during the game.

Smith said Monday “it’s not about can I go. It’s about how confident do I feel when I am going. I will play Sunday. But it’s about how much I don’t worry about the knee - and that’s when the confidence increases.”

The 34-year-old Smith says the knee “felt good” after doing some cutting during a light practice Monday. He’s expected to test it out more thoroughly Wednesday.

Smith, Carolina’s all-time leading in touchdowns, sprained his posterior cruciate ligament in Carolina’s Week 16 win over New Orleans and sat out the regular season finale against Atlanta.

CONCUSSIONS: Lawyers representing former NFL players in the proposed $765 million settlement of concussion-related claims have detailed how the money would be distributed.

The awards could reach $5 million for athletes with Lou Gehrig’s disease, $4 million for suicides, and $3 million for dementia cases.

Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of Philadelphia must still approve the plan.

COLTS: Are getting some help from a former Patriot.

Six days before the two rivals meet in a divisional-round game, the Colts signed Deion Branch, the former New England receiver and Super Bowl MVP.

RATINGS: The New Orleans Saints’ 26-24 win against the Philadelphia Eagles was the most-watched Saturday wild-card game on NBC with 34.4 million viewers. The Indianapolis Colts’ 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs had 27.6 million viewers.

PATRIOTS: Suffered another big blow on defense Monday when they placed linebacker Brandon Spikes on injured reserve because of a knee injury five days before their playoff game against the Colts.

COURTS: Former NFL and University of Florida player Donald “Reche” Caldwell was arrested by Tampa police on charges of operating an illegal gambling house and bookmaking.

The 34-year-old Caldwell was a standout wide receiver at Florida and was chosen in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He also played for the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins.


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