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Ron Rivera: 'It's a fluid situation' with Greg Hardy

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Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday that Greg Hardy will practice and the team will determine later in the week whether the defensive end will play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Greg is with the team," Rivera said. "We're going to go through this week and evaluate circumstances. It's a fluid situation."

Hardy has been embroiled in controversy after being arrested on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats on May 13. Hardy was found guilty by a judge on July 15 and requested a jury trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 17.

Rivera said the team will evaluate Hardy's situation before the team makes a determination this week. The pass rusher played Week 1 before being deactivated in Sunday's 24-7 win over the Detroit Lions.

Rivera said the decision to sit Hardy was partially due to the tumultuous NFL week that saw Ray Rice suspended indefinitely for domestic violence and Adrian Peterson deactivated by the Minnesota Vikings following charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

"I don't know if it was new information as much as it was changes in the climate," Rivera said.

The coach added that it was a difficult decision to sit the player, but he made the choice that he felt was in the best interest of the team.

"If you play him and win, you don't have a conscience," he said. "If you play him and lose, he's a distraction."

One thing the Panthers showed Sunday is their defense is still dominant even without the pass rusher on the field. How that could play into Hardy's future with the team remains to be seen.

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