Panthers WR Smith returns after hurting ribs

Panthers WR Steve Smith left Sunday’s matchup with the Falcons moments after scoring his second touchdown of the game, but he returned during the third quarter.

Smith was knocked in the ribs by Falcons FS Thomas DeCoud after catching a 4-yard touchdown pass from QB Jake Delhomme and laid on the field for an extend period of time.

Smith joined Panthers LT Jordan Gross and Falcons RB Michael Turner — all Pro Bowl players — on the sidelines with injuries sustained in the game.

Smith had been a disappointment for the Panthers, scoring only one touchdown in his previous eight games before breaking out against the Falcons — a team against which he typically has success.

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