Captain Munnerlyn: Scratch a 'slap in the face' but he expects to play next game

"It's just a personal issue, a personal issue within the team," Captain Munnerlyn said of his being inactive Sunday. "I took my lick and have to roll with it." AP Photo/Bob Leverone

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers nickelback Captain Munnerlyn called it a "slap in the face" that he was a healthy scratch for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

But Munnerlyn said he accepted the decision by coach Ron Rivera, and he plans to be back on the field for next week’s game against Tampa Bay.

Munnerlyn was told on Friday by Rivera that he wouldn’t play Sunday. Neither Rivera nor Munnerlyn would say exactly why the cornerback was inactive, only that it had to do with Munnerlyn leaving practice on Wednesday.

The Charlotte Observer, citing a source, reported that Munnerlyn left practice because he was unhappy with the way he was going to be used in the defensive game plan against Green Bay. Munnerlyn vehemently denied this, instead calling it a "personal issue within the team."

Still, the decision could have been over Munnerlyn again being outspoken about playing time. He already had complained about his snap count more than once this season.

"I had to make a decision I thought was better for everybody and we will live with that as far as that is concerned," Rivera said.

Munnerlyn said he regretted what he did because it could have hurt the Panthers as they faced future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, in his first game back from a broken collarbone, had three touchdown passes. He also had three interceptions.

"It still don’t have nothing to do with playing time," Munnerlyn said. "I don’t know where that came from, but it definitely doesn’t have nothing to do with playing time.

"It’s just a personal issue, a personal issue within the team. I took my lick and have to roll with it."