Updated 11:59 AM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

Greg Hardy Stats, Contract & News: NFL Player Benched Due to Domestic Violence Case

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The Carolina Panthers decided to deactivate Greg Hardy during Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, as the defensive end's domestic violence case ensues.

The player joined team practices throughout the week and seemed to be slated for a start this weekend, Yahoo Sports reported. However, head coach Ron Rivera said the team, which won 24-7, decided to sit him even after allowing him to participate on Sept. 7.

The change occured two days after Rivera said the fifth-year pro would see action, in a news conference held Friday.

"We had discussions... The organization had discussions. At the end of the day, I had to make the decision that was in the best interests of the Carolina Panthers," the coach said, as quoted by Yahoo Sports.

"We are doing the best we can," Rivera also told the report. "We are not infallable. We make mistakes. The decision I made today was based on all the information I tried to get, the people I talked with and going forward."

Rivera also said the "climate has changed" and the team "has to get this right," Fox Sports reported. However, he refused to give a timetable for the return.

Hardy, 26, is currently hounded by his ex-girlfriend's accusations. She alleged that the athlete hit her and threatened her life, among others. A court  had found him guilty in an initial trial on July 15 based on North Carolina law, Yahoo Sports said. However, the player appealed and is set to appear before a jury on Nov. 17.

According to the Hollywood Life, the incident happened in May, and this is yet another addition to the number of domestic violence cases in the NFL. Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice was slapped with indefinite suspension after footage was leaked of him punching his then-fiancee in the elevator while Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was arrested for child abuse.

Yahoo Sports reported that Panthers team owner, Jerry Richardson, recently gave a tearful speech on domestic abuse, showing a video of it.

He said, "I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple" on Wednesday night, as quoted by Fox Sports.

While Hollywood Life said the deactivation was a public relations stunt, Yahoo Sports said the Panthers might have arrived at the decision after considering a court backload possibly pushing the appeal hearing into 2015.

Hardy was not on the sideline during the game nor was he available for interviews after, Fox Sports said. One thing is for sure: He will be paid his weekly salary of more than $770,000 for the weekend action.

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