Ron Rivera: Greg Hardy hasn't been 'asked to stay away' from the stadium

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy still hasn’t made an appearance at Bank of America Stadium since going on the commissioner’s exempt list in mid-September, but not because he’s not welcome.

“We haven’t asked him to stay away," Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday. “At the same time, we’re letting him take care of his business."

Rivera has maintained optimism that the team’s 2013 sack leader will be reinstated once his domestic violence case is heard. The case remains scheduled for Nov. 17, the week Carolina is on a bye.

Hardy’s attorney, Chris Fialko, said Wednesday he continues to get ready for the Nov. 17 date.

Fialko said on July 15, when he announced Hardy would appeal the guilty verdict of a Mecklenburg County judge, that there are several older cases that could push Hardy’s case into 2015.

If Hardy’s case is heard on schedule and he is found innocent, he would be eligible to return for the final five games.

“I believe, from what I’ve been told, he’s been working out and doing the things he needs to do," Rivera said. “Hopefully, when things are all worked out and everything comes to a conclusion, everybody can go forward."

Asked if he had any idea when Hardy might make an appearance, Rivera said, “At the appropriate time."