Carolina receiver Steve Smith has produced like coach Ron Rivera expected him to this season. But the Panthers coach knows the team needs to find downfield targets besides Smith for the vertical passing game to be successful today against the Seattle Seahawks.
Smith is the only listed wide receiver to have more than one catch for the Panthers in each of the past two games. No. 2 wideout Brandon LaFell had one grab against the Giants and Falcons combined, and quarterback Cam Newton has spread the ball around to different targets.
“We’ve got to find ways, if teams are starting to roll toward Steve a little more, we’ve got to find ways to get him open,” Rivera said. “Secondly if we’re going to do some of the things we need to do, we have to expose other players to get ball in their hands.”
Tight end Greg Olsen has 13 catches for 187 yards in the past two games after a slow start to the season. Last week, eight Panthers had at least one catch.
“We saw the ball go to the tight end, to the backs,” Rivera said. “As long as we’re being productive and putting 28 points on the board, you’re giving yourself a chance to win.”
Rams coach Jeff Fisher had little to say about the condition of Danny Amendola, calling it a “competitive issue” after the receiver was injured during Thursday night’s win over Arizona. Fisher said he’d have an injury report Wednesday regarding Amendola, who could miss the Oct. 14 game at Miami. … Browns wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin will miss Cleveland’s game today against the Giants because of hamstring injuries. Greg Little and rookie Josh Gordon will likely start, with Jordan Norwood working in the slot. … The Packers activated defensive end Mike Neal, who was suspended for the first four weeks of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. To make room on the roster, Green Bay waived defensive end Phillip Merling. … Jets tight end Dustin Keller, wide receiver Stephen Hill, nose tackle Sione Po’uha and fullback John Conner are all doubtful for New York’s game Monday night against the Texans. None of the four practiced all week. … The Colts are promoting tackle Tony Hills from the practice squad to the active roster. To make room for Hills, the Colts waived receiver Kris Adams.