Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn’s long, strange week ended with him on the bench as a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.
The veteran was among the Panthers’ inactives Sunday against Green Bay, four days after Munnerlyn walked out of practice for reasons that neither he nor head coach Ron Rivera has explained.
But both made it clear it was a disciplinary decision for a player who has been upset with playing time and his role on the defense for most of the season.
Rivera said he told Munnerlyn on Saturday he wouldn’t play against the Packers.
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“It was a decision I made based on some of the things that happened,” Rivera said. “We worked through it. We are all fine.”
The Observer reported last week that Munnerlyn walked out of practice because he was upset with his place in the defensive game plan for the Packers game. Munnerlyn says that wasn’t the case, but wouldn’t divulge the reason for his benching.
“I took my lick and I got it over with. I’ll be back next week,” Munnerlyn said. “This is my first time being inactive, a healthy scratch, in my career. It’s definitely a little different coming in the locker room and knowing I’m not playing.
“It was a slap in the face. But at the same time we dealt with the issue. That’s how he wanted to do it. I feel like next week I’ll be ready to roll.”