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Panthers' Steve Smith says he's targeted every week

If you watched as much of the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal coverage as us, the video of Carolina Panthers star Steve Smith getting clobbered by Saints safety Roman Harper is burned into your mind.

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The late hit was a standard B-roll footage at the time, but Smith didn't care to dwell on the past Wednesday, brushing off most questions related to the Saints' pay-for-performance scandal.

Asked if he felt the Saints targeted him, Smith said he feels targeted every week by defenses trying to send a message to the No. 1 receiver.

"This isn't powder puff," Smith said, via Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer.

It certainly isn't. Smith got belted on a sideline hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mark Barron on Sunday, drawing a big reaction from the crowd at Raymond James Stadium. True to form, Smith popped up immediately and defiantly wagged his finger.

Smith also took a shot to his knee against the Bucs and was limited in practice Wednesday, wearing a brace as a precaution. Asked if Smith would play against the Saints on Sunday, coach Ron Rivera responded, "without a doubt."

In other Panthers injury news, Jonathan Stewart returned to practice in a limited fashion Wednesday. The running back had missed more than two weeks with a sprained ankle.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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