Hill has been with the Panthers since 2014, but has yet to play a regular season game for the team. A knee injury ended his season in training camp last year and he spent his first season in Carolina on the practice squad. So far this preseason, the 2012 second-rounder has managed just two catches for 18 yards. With Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn, Philly Brown and Brenton Bersin currently projected as the Panthers' regular season receivers, Hill probably needs extraordinary performances in Carolina's last two preseason games just to be considered more seriously for a roster spot.
Hill, who's coming back from a torn ACL suffered during 2015 training camp, left Wednesday's practice early after tweaking the same knee, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
This marks the second time in one week that Hill has had issues with the surgically repaired knee, as medical staff dealt with the injury during Wednesday's practice. If the Panthers don't play it safe with Hill, there's plenty of risk for a major setback or even re-injury. The team begins their preseason next Thursday against the Ravens, but if Hill misses additional practice time, he may not be ready for game action. The top four receivers for Carolina are becoming more clear in Kelvin Benjamin, Philly Brown, Ted Ginn, and Devin Funchess, while Hill hopes to secure the fifth spot.
Hill is 10 months removed from suffering a torn ACL during last year's training camp, so his return to early practices is encouraging. Although Hill isn't participating in team drills just yet, he's seemingly on pace to be up to speed in time for this year's camp, when he figures to compete for a roster spot once again.
Hill, who would have become a restricted free agent otherwise, will now look to make his mark in the Carolina passing offense in 2016, but first he'll need to re-prove his health after missing last season after having suffered a torn ACL in training camp. Moreover, he must log a one-game suspension for a violation of the substance-abuse policy before returning to the field.
Stephen Hill has been suspended one game for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Hill suffered a torn ACL in the opening days of training camp, effectively ending his season before it could kick off. The current suspension likely stems from a citation for marijuana paraphernalia possession in late July, but in any case, he'll have to serve the one-game ban once he's healthy enough to take the field.
|Bye: Week 7|
|9||11/6/16||@ LAR||4:05 pm|
|12||11/27/16||@ OAK||4:25 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ SEA||8:30 pm|
|15||12/19/16||@ WAS||8:30 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|2012||New York Jets||11||8||21||252||12.0||33||3||3||0||17|
|2013||New York Jets||12||11||24||342||14.3||51||1||5||2||15|
|2012||New York Jets||11||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||New York Jets||12||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2012||New York Jets||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2013||New York Jets||12||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||0|