Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera thinks defensive end Greg Hardy should be reinstated if his trial over domestic violence charges is postponed until the offseason, according to a report from The Charlotte Observer.
In July, Hardy was convicted of assaulting a female and communicating threats. His appeal trial had been scheduled for Nov. 17, but a report Thursday said it will not take place until after the season. Rivera reportedly said Friday that no one has informed the team whether the trial date would be moved.
Hardy reportedly "resisted" the postponement of the trial because he wants to resume playing.
The 26-year-old was deactivated (with pay) after playing in Week 1 and placed on the commissioner's exempt list. The Panthers have indicated that Hardy will not be disciplined until the conclusion of the trial. If the conviction is not reversed, Hardy could be suspended six games as a first-time offender under the NFL's new policy against domestic violence.
“Just because he’s been out. And if things had all transpired and gone a certain way, then his availability might be now,” Rivera said Friday. “So we’ll see. As I said, I don’t set the policy.”
Hardy amassed 15 sacks and 40 tackles for the Panthers last season and will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
- Chris Johnson