CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he expects defensive end Greg Hardy to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals despite missing the last two days of practice with an illness.
Rivera says Hardy met with the doctors on Thursday and "They just want him to get a little bit of rest" before returning to practice on Friday.
Hardy has developed into a key cog in Carolina's 10th-ranked defense.
The flamboyant fourth-year defensive end sacked Eli Manning three times and had eight tackles in a dominating performance against the New York Giants in week three. Hardy earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his role in Carolina's 38-0 win.
He has another chance at a big game Sunday against Cardinals left tackle Bradley Sowell, who'll make his first NFL start.