Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith broke his arm while playing a game of flag football with a group of kids at his camp — at least, that’s what his reps want you to believe.
Original reports of the injury said Smith hurt his arm at his annual youth football camp over the weekend. However, ProFootballTalk.com reported that the broken arm was actually sustained while playing in the championship game of a Charlotte area adult flag football league.
Evidence is stacking up against Smith’s initial story. According to The Associated Press, the injury occurred on Sunday, while the dates of his camp were on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Also, Former Panthers quarterback Josh McCown told the Charlotte Observer that he played with Smith in an adult football league, but that he wasn’t there on Sunday.
Smith’s agent, Derrick Fox, initially said the injury took place at the youth camp. He has since revised his statement and said he was unsure whether Smith was playing with kids or adults.
Standard NFL contracts ban players from playing football outside of team settings and ban other activities that could risk injury. So, theoretically, the Panthers have grounds to punish Smith for breaching his contract.
However, Fox said he didn't think the Panthers would take any disciplinary action since Smith should be healed before the start of the regular season.
"Steve talked to me and he feels terrible about it," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "Now his focus is on rehabilitating process and getting back as quickly as he can."
Smith will miss the start of Panthers’ training camp beginning on July 28 due to the injury.