Panthers’ Greg Hardy to start against Lions _lowres

Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy waves to fans as he arrives for an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Hardy has been convicted on two counts of domestic violence and is still playing. Though he has already been found guilty, the league is sticking by its policy to wait until the appeal process has been heard before making any decision on a possible suspension. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera said defensive end Greg Hardy will start the team’s home opener Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Hardy, who missed practice Wednesday to meet with his attorney, practiced Friday. The defensive end was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats, but is appealing.

Running back DeAngelo Williams missed his second straight day of practice with a thigh injury and is questionable. Jonathan Stewart will start if Williams can’t play.

Rivera listed Cam Newton (ribs) as probable, but says there’s “no doubt” the quarterback will start after practicing all week.

Tight end Greg Olsen is probable after taking a day off to be with his 2-year-old son, who is battling heart problems.

Offensive lineman Garry Williams (hip) and linebacker Jason Williams (thigh) are questionable.


MATTHEWS WILL MISS GAME VS. BENGALS: In Flowery Branch, Ga., Falcons coach Mike Smith said rookie left tackle Jake Matthews has been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati with a sprained ankle.

Gabe Carimi, who has taken all the snaps with the first-team offense this week, will start in Matthews’ spot.

Matthews, the NFL’s No. 6 overall draft pick, twisted his left ankle in the second quarter of last week’s overtime win over New Orleans and did not return.

Matthews worked on the side Friday but was unable to participate in practice for the third straight day.

Carimi gave up a sack, four quarterback hurries and had three penalties against the Saints in the second half.

Receiver Roddy White is listed as probable with a sore left knee. White participated fully after being limited the last two days.


STARTING LINEMAN ALLEN LIKELY HEADED TO IR: In Kansas City, Mo., Chiefs right tackle Jeff Allen had surgery Friday on his right elbow and will likely be out the rest of the season, the latest blow to a team already ravaged by injuries and suspensions.

Allen hurt his elbow after starting Sunday’s season-opening loss to Tennessee. In the same game, Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and starting defensive tackle Mike DeVito ruptured their right Achilles tendons, ending their seasons.

Allen was supposed to be the starting left guard, but he moved to right tackle when Donald Stephenson was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

Ryan Harris is expected to start at right tackle when the Chiefs visit Denver on Sunday.