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Steve Smith: There's an '89 percent' chance I'll play

As it turns out, Carolina Panthers wide receiver was having a little fun with us when he estimated his sprained knee at "71 percent" Wednesday and "57 percent" after a setback in Thursday's practice.

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"I just randomly pick numbers," Smith conceded Friday, via NFL Media's Jeff Darlington.

Smith was disappointed that he couldn't cut as well as he wanted to Thursday. He was able to run just five routes in Friday's walkthrough, as trainers held him out because of the rain.

More fun with random numbers: Smith estimates that his knee is at "61 percent" entering the weekend.

Ever the showman, Smith proclaimed that there's an "89 percent" chance he will play in the heavyweight bout with the 49ers. That's the bottom line.

The Panthers officially listed Smith as questionable for Sunday, and coach Ron Rivera added that "my gut is he will play. Until we shut him down with the rain, he was moving around well."

Barring a serious turn for the better, there has to be concern that "89" will serve primarily as a decoy Sunday. His pedestrian statistics this season belie his importance to the Panthers as an inspirational force and team leader.

Ice up, Son. Ice up.

We previewed all four divisional playoff games in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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