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Panthers’ Greg Hardy misses start after being late for meeting

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was benched for the start of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for being late to a meeting last week, according to a team source.

Hardy also was fined by the team for being tardy, and apologized to coach Ron Rivera in the locker room after the Panthers’ 27-6 victory.

Hardy missed the first two snaps before entering the game, and had one of the five sacks of Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. It was Hardy’s only tackle, although he added a pair of quarterback hurries.

Hardy played with stitches in his left thumb after tearing the base of his thumb last week in the win at Miami. Hardy said the injury affected him primarily when he lined up on the left side and used his left hand in his pass-rush moves.

“I didn’t want to look at it until today,” Hardy said. “That thing hurt.”

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