Panthers lose star receiver to broken arm

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:42 AM ET

Flag football.

We’ll say it again, flag football.

Who would figure that an innocent game of flag football with the kids would turn into heartbreak for the Carolina Panthers as during such an innocent game star receiver Steve Smith broke his arm.

To be more specific, it was his left forearm that went S-N-A-P.

The immediate impact of Saturday’s accident is that Smith will miss the first few weeks of training camp but is expected to be ready for the Panthers season opener against the Giants, Sept. 12. But you never know.

Smith, 31, had surgery Sunday night to have a plate and screws inserted in his arm.

“They were messing around, the ball went over his head and he slipped,’’ his agent Derrick Fox said. “He put his arm out to brace himself. When he did he felt a sharp pain. He went in (Sunday) afternoon to have an X-ray and it showed a break.”

The only problematic issue is that it is the same arm that Smith broke at the end of last season. The good news is that it is in a different spot.

The other question is that if things turn south and the injury becomes an issue, how will it, or will it, affect his contract status? Did a violation of some sort occur?

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney issued a statement that read:

“Steve talked to me and he feels terrible about it. Now his focus is on the rehabilitating process and getting back as quickly as he can.”

Another downer for the Panthers is that Smith will now miss time adjusting to the Panthers new quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme is gone with Matt Moore promoted to starter and recently drafted Jimmy Claussen of Notre Dame in the wings.

Kids.

OUT ON A LIMB

It’s easy to pile on Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, especially for his refusal to throw the ball more than six yards downfield.

Edwards has a 50-50 shot to be back at the helm when the season starts but you have to wonder about a guy in a leadership position who ducks and runs when softball questions are lobbed his way.

In a transcript of Monday’s Q&A, Edwards was asked if he considers the offence run or pass-oriented? That doesn’t seem like a toughie but Edwards’ response makes you cringe:

“I know you’d like my opinion on it, but to be honest Chan (Gailey) would have to give you the answer to that question. He’s the one calling the plays, it’s his offence, it’s his playbook and it’s just a matter of executing it. We’ve talked early on about making sure we’re establishing the run instead of the pass but who knows, things may change.”

Now, there’s a guy who’s taking charge.

SLEEPS LIKE A BABY

Finally, there’s some great news out of Washington.

After doing his best to screw up a great franchise like the Redskins, owner Daniel Snyder tells FOXSports that he can now “sleep at night.”

The secret?

It’s as easy as letting the coach and general manager do their jobs instead of all the meddling and mucking up the works that defined Snyder and his reign of terror.

Apparently the hiring of Bruce Allen as the GM and Mike Shanahan as the coach is better than all the sleep aids that money can buy.

“They know what they want and are working hard to go get it,” Snyder said. “I’m just enjoying myself. It’s been a lot of fun for me. It’s been effortless on my part. With Bruce and Mike, you have this coach and front office camaraderie that’s really special. To see it is really wonderful for me.”

All that and Albert Haynesworth too. OK, everything isn’t perfect.

MAGIC TOUR

Who wouldn’t want to roll along the highways and byways of the U.S. with legendary coach and broadcaster John Madden, whose fear of flying reduced him to traveling the country in a super-duper RV?

NFL commish Roger Goodell is planning on jumping aboard the Madden Cruiser for a training camp tour to meet and greet with fans.

NFL Network reports that Goodell is finalizing an itinerary with Madden. The league says Goodell wants to interact with fans and hear their ideas about how to make the game better.

Atta boy Roger.

BEATING UP THE BUSH

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush is having one hell of an off-season.

The latest setback for the former USC Heisman Trophy winner may be a loud knock on the door by the IRS.

And Bush thought he had trouble eluding defensive lineman and backs.

He has no shot of slipping by the IRS when motivated. The IRS always gets the sack.

One of the offshoots of the NCAA’s investigation about whether or not he received money and items of value is that it may have tweaked the interest of the IRS who will want their cut of whatever benefits Bush received while attending USC.

FOXnews.com says that the total Bush may have received could reach $300,000.

It may be time for Bush to cut a cheque.

mike.rutsey@sunmedia.ca


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