Greg Hardy won't let illness slow him down

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Apparently, mythical characters in football pads aren't immune from being sick

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, otherwise known as "The Kraken,'' returned to practice on Wednesday after missing Monday with what he could best describe as bronchial asthma.

Hardy, who ranks second in the NFL with 15 sacks, said that won't impact him in Sunday's NFC playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

"No. Rain, sleet or snow, you know me,'' Hardy said. "Broke hands, broke feet, whatever.''

Hardy, 25, said he's been dealing with asthma for his entire life.

"The bronchitis, it happens when I get sick,'' he said. "It compounds on the asthma and makes it worse when the temperature changes dramatically like this in Charlotte. I'll be good.''

Temperatures dipped to a record-low 6 degrees in Charlotte earlier this week. There was a high of 38 on Wednesday.

Hardy constantly was sniffling as he conducted interviews, but he went through practice without limitation.

Other than, as he said, feeling like "crap.''

"It's like a bunch of dripping sweat in like-zero degree weather all day every day,'' said Hardy, who played a major role in pressuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a 10-9 victory over the 49ers on Nov. 10. "It's a form of bronchitis. I've got asthma, so it gets worse.''