Panthers WR Smith says he will play vs. 49ers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina 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 the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Carolina’s Week 16 win over New Orleans. He sat out the regular-season finale against Atlanta.

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