Carolina Panthers

Greg Hardy returns to practice for Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy practiced “very well” on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice and will play Sunday against Detroit, coach Ron Rivera said.

Hardy missed Wednesday’s practice to meet with his lawyer. In July, Hardy was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her.

In the wake of Baltimore running back Ray Rice receiving an indefinite suspension from the NFL, the Panthers have shared the stage in a national discussion about the NFL’s stance on domestic violence.

Rivera couldn’t say whether Hardy would be eligible for the Panthers every Sunday this season because of the legal process. Hardy’s jury trial is set for Nov. 17, a day after the Panthers’ home game against Atlanta.

“I can’t just because it’s in the process,” Rivera said. “Whatever happens, happens. We’re just focused in on each week and we’ll focus in on each game we can prepare for and we’ll continue to keep going until something changes. But for now we’re just going to continue with the process.”

Panthers officials have repeated they will follow the league’s lead and allow the legal process to play out before issuing any potential punishment to Hardy.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson said in a tearful statement Wednesday night that he is firmly against domestic violence, and he asked for patience from those suggesting the Panthers have been too slow to act.

Rivera said he had yet to see the video.

“I can imagine that whatever Mr. Richardson said he was very sincere and heartfelt,” Rivera said.

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