Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin said he walked out of a practice last week because he was frustrated about another injury to his surgically repaired knee.
But Benjamin made it through Sunday’s loss to Chicago, and looked none the worse for wear.
Benjamin left Wednesday’s practice early on his own, unaccompanied by any member of the training staff. He said Sunday he let his frustrations get the best of him.
“My knee was still kind of a little sore and I was just frustrated with that. It just didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel good,” Benjamin said. “So I was still just kind of frustrated because I had the surgery and I’m still kind of dealing with it, with the same knee.”
Benjamin missed the 2015 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during training camp. He had swelling in his bursa sac after taking a hit on the knee against the Eagles, and was still dealing with soreness last week.
Benjamin was not at the practice field a day after walking out, but returned Friday and said he felt good coming into Sunday’s game.
Benjamin caught three passes for 65 yards against the Bears, including a 37-yarder at the end of the first half. The first-round pick from 2014 passed Mark Carrier (2,547 receiving yards) and moved into fifth place on the Panthers’ all-time list.
But Benjamin was upset about a fourth-quarter catch he didn’t make – a high pass from Cam Newton that skipped off Benjamin’s fingertips on third-and-2.
“I hold myself to a high standard. I’ve got to catch that and convert,” he said. “That’s what I take pride in. … That was a crucial (situation). We needed it. If I caught that, we probably go down and score.”
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has 17 catches for 262 yards and a touchdown over the last three weeks combined. That accounts for nearly 70 percent of his production on the year.
He’ll be in tough matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 7. Good to know he’s found his rhythm.
Fantasy impact: After suffering an injury in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, owners held their breath hoping that the injury was nothing long term. Fortunately it wasn’t. Benjamin played the very next game. He’s been reliable ever since.
Going into the game against Chicago, Benjamin faces a team that has allowed just two receivers to cross the 75-yard mark this season. Benjamin will no doubt face tight coverage given how well he’s has played.
Kyle Fuller is one of the league’s better cornerbacks. The good news for Benjamin is, he’ll have the size advantage over his counterpart. If this were earlier in the season owners may have been tempted to bench Benjamin, but right now, he’s got to start.