Panthers WR Steve Smith practiced for the third consecutive day and is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the 49ers.
Smith sprained his left ankle against the Saints on Oct. 3 and missed the Panthers' loss to the Bears in Week Five. The team had a bye in Week Six and Smith will likely start on Sunday.
The four-time Pro Bowler said he is pain-free. QB Matt Moore will be throwing to Smith as he is replacing rookie QB Jimmy Clausen as the starter.
The way we see it
This is great news for the league's lowest-scoring team. Smith doesn't have many other productive receivers alongside him to keep defenses honest, but he is good enough to battle double-teams and help the Panthers.
Smith's fantasy owners are likely pleased for his return, but don't get too excited. Moore is still a below-average QB and the Panthers face a decent pass defense on Sunday against the 49ers, who rank 11th in the league in pass "D."