"I just want to get back on the field and even if it's a small role I'm ready to contribute in some way," Gettis said. "They want to see what I can do when I get back and they aren't going to put me in a position to fail."
The Panthers could use some help on offense — they rank a disappointing 22nd in the league after finishing seventh last year — and Gettis is a player who gives them a solid deep threat. His 88-yard touchdown reception against Baltimore in 2010 is the third-longest receptions in franchise history.
"Whether it's in the run-blocking game or someone to stretch the field, that's what they brought me in here for, so that's my job," Gettis said. "I've been training really hard to get back to that."
When Gettis does return he'll have some measure of a learning curve.
While he's observed offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's system from the sidelines, he's never actually played in it.
"They are going to put me in a position where I can help," Gettis said.
Steve Smith said Gettis has the talent to help, but said he has to prove he can on the field.
"I don't know how much of an impact he'll have," Smith said. "I'm not sure. He hasn't played in this offense, so time will tell what Gettis will bring to the table. We're expecting him back we'll welcome him back, but at the same time it's going to take some time to get in competition shape. You can get in conditioning shape, but when you have guys pushing you around you have to get used to that."
Said Gettis: "I'll do whatever they ask of me. I just want to get back on the field."