CHARLOTTE - The Panthers will continue to gather information in their attempt to make the best decisions regarding defensive end Greg Hardy, head coach Ron Rivera said Monday.
Hardy, deactivated for Sunday's home opener versus the Detroit Lions, returned to Bank of America Stadium on Monday and will proceed through the week just like any other player as the organization determines the next step.
"All that happened was he was deactivated. That's all," Rivera said. "We didn't suspend him. We're not doing anything of that nature. He was just deactivated.
"He'll practice this week and be in all the meetings like he's supposed to be, and we'll just go from there."
Rivera informed Hardy, who is awaiting a jury trial on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats, of his deactivation a couple of hours before kickoff.
"Greg was a little disappointed," Rivera said. "He understood. I asked him, I said, 'Greg, are you OK with this?' He said, 'Coach, I understand.'
"I said, 'If you would like, if you want to go home, I understand.' I also said, 'Just make sure you're here Monday on time.' And he was here on time."
Though the Panthers will continue to additional information, Rivera reiterated that the decision to deactivate Hardy for Week 2 after he played in the season opener was based solely on what was in the best interest of the organization.
"If you play him and you win, then it's, 'You don't have a conscious.' If you play him and you lose, 'He's a distraction.' So the decision was made in the best interest of the organization," Rivera said. "I don't know if I'd say it was new information as much as some things changing in the climate. We'll have to look at things, look at what's going on and get a feel for some things.
"(General manager) Dave (Gettleman) and the guys upstairs will do their due diligence as far as looking at what our options are."
Rivera said the team has been as thorough as possible in pursuit of information regarding Hardy's case.
"The team has done what it can do, what it's allowed to do and what it's been able to do," he said. "Our people are trying to do the best they can putting all this stuff together so that when we have the opportunity to talk about it, we have as much information as possible."
In a complicated situation with very few definitives, one thing is for sure: Discussions will continue in what Rivera termed a "very fluid situation."
"What matters is getting it right," Rivera said. "What is right? We're doing the best we can."