Panthers Williams ready for Smith, blood and guts
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is back — and so is his sense of humor.
Williams conducted an interview at his locker on Thursday wearing clear motorcycle goggles, a subtle response to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith’s comments earlier this offseason about playing the Panthers.
Smith, after being released following 13 seasons with the Panthers, told Charlotte radio station WFNZ-AM in March that when he plays the Panthers “put your goggles on (be)cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”
The teams meet Sunday in Baltimore.
Williams couldn’t resist poking at his old friend and teammate of eight years.
“He kind of left us a message the first game of the season, so I’m looking forward to it,” Williams said.
After Smith’s touchdown catch in Week 1 — his first with his new team — the fiery wide receiver turned to cameras and offered a profanity-laced message directed toward the Panthers. The 35-year-old Smith said if the Panthers didn’t believe he could still play anymore, they would find out in Week 4.
When asked if he expects blood and guts, Williams replied, “I wouldn’t say that. It’s a football game. ... No, I’m not worried about the blood and guts at all.”
Williams is expected to play Sunday after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, which is good news for banged-up Carolina backfield.
Williams’ primary backups Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker did not practice, which means fourth-string running back Darrin Reaves could see carries Sunday.
In other injury news, outside linebacker Thomas Davis returned to practice on a limited basis after missing practice Wednesday with a hip injury. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Davis will be reevaluated on Friday.
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