Carolina Panthers

Panthers to open preseason at Baltimore, Tennessee before hosting New England, Pittsburgh

The Panthers will open the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens and wide receiver Steve Smith, who is recovering from an Achilles injury.
The Panthers will open the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens and wide receiver Steve Smith, who is recovering from an Achilles injury. AP

The Carolina Panthers get an all-AFC slate of exhibitions this preseason with the final two games to be played at Bank of America Stadium.

The Panthers will travel to Baltimore and Tennessee and then return home to face the Patriots and Steelers before the start of the regular season.

Exact dates and times of all the exhibitions won’t be decided until later in the month.

The first exhibition could pit the Panthers against former Carolina receiver Steve Smith one final time. Smith torched the Panthers in 2014 for 139 yards and two touchdowns, and he might be back by mid-August from his torn Achilles, suffered in early November.

After a trip to Nashville to face the Titans, Carolina will return home to play New England in the third exhibition, which is known as the best dress rehearsal for the regular season.

The Panthers and Patriots met in the third exhibition last season, too. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played one series into the third quarter and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played until halftime.

And for the 14th consecutive year, the Panthers and Steelers will close out the preseason. That game is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1 in Charlotte after two straight seasons in Pittsburgh.

The Panthers went 3-1 last year in the preseason.

Preseason schedule

Week 1 (Aug. 11-15) Panthers at Ravens; Week 2 (Aug. 18-22) Panthers at Titans; Week 3 (Aug. 25-28) Panthers vs. Patriots; Week 4 (Sept. 1) Panthers vs. Steelers.

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