An interesting story regarding Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and a broken arm is starting to take form. Initially, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Smith broke his arm while trying to catch a pass at the Steve Smith Football Camp — his camp for kids. It turns out that may be the story Smith was hoping everyone would believe. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has since done a bit more research and is now reporting that he broke his arm playing in an adult flag football league.
It would certainly make sense for the wide receiver to try and keep the news of his broken arm on the down-low until it could be believed that the injury was sustained during an activity at his camp for kids. Florio explains why by alluding to this relevant clause of the standard player contract:
Without prior written consent of the Club, Player will not play football or engage in activities related to football otherwise than for Club or engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”
This is the second time he’s broken his arm and it’s possible that the metal plate that was inserted during surgery after Smith broke it during the 2009 season could have contributed to this injury. He allegedly broke it knocking down a pass while playing defense, so to make matters worse he wasn’t even brushing up on his receiving skills.
Smith is no stranger to missing regular-season games because of off-season antics. After breaking teammate Ken Lucas’ nose in a fight during practice two years ago, the Panthers suspended him for the first two games of the regular season. Unless the Panthers decide to do what the Steelers did when Ben Roethlisberger injured himself riding a motorcycle — look the other way — Smith could also have some contractual issues to work out in the coming days.
Steve Smith’s flag football career could get him in trouble with the Panthers [Pro Football Talk]