Steve Smith will walk barefoot after Panthers' opener


Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith spent the last two weeks of the preseason on crutches with a foot infection. That caused some concern about his Week 1 status, but a gesture Smith is making for charity should put any concerns to rest.

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Smith will take off his cleats at the end of the Panthers' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend and walk barefoot to the locker room to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet, an organization that provides footwear for impoverished children. Smith, a devoted philanthropist, is trying to raise $500,000 for the charity.

The timing of the move appears to be coincidental. Smith couldn't even wear shoes last week, but it's safe to say he wouldn't be taking them off so publicly if he was worried about his health going into Week 1.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.