Panthers' Carr misses 2nd straight practice; Testaverde on deck
By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer
October 11, 2007
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- David Carr threw gingerly on the side, but wasn't ready to practice. Vinny Testaverde scrambled to learn the playbook and get his 43-year-old body ready. Rookie Matt Moore just tried to keep up.
Thursday produced few answers for the Carolina Panthers as they try to figure out who will start at quarterback Sunday against Arizona.
Carr, listed as No. 1 with Jake Delhomme set to undergo season-ending elbow surgery, missed practice for a second straight day with a sore back.
"It was better today," Carr said. "I threw some balls and it wasn't as uncomfortable as I thought it would be."
Carr acknowledged he didn't try to drop back or run. Instead, he watched practice wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
"It was a little tight on the release," Carr said of his brief throwing session. "But it should feel better (Friday). If it does, I'll try to practice some."
Testaverde, signed on Wednesday, and the undrafted Moore, signed just over a month ago, took all the snaps for the second straight day. Coach John Fox wouldn't say which player he'd use if Carr can't go.
But Testaverde, who turns 44 next month and was cut by New England in the preseason, would appear to be the front-runner. Entering his 21st NFL season, Testaverde has impressed his new teammates with his arm strength and how quickly he's picked up the offense.
"He's got some familiarity with the system we've run and the coaches we have here," Fox said. "Hopefully he's a quick study. I think he is and he's shown that ability just in the last two days."
Moore, who played at Oregon State, was signed after being one of Dallas' final cuts before the start of the regular season. It's uncertain how much confidence the coaching staff has in him to start, and Moore acknowledged Thursday that practice this week has been difficult.
"It's so different than what I've been used to," Moore said of working with the first team. "It's not that I don't know the plays, but I just have to pick it up a little bit. Working with the other guys in the huddle, with the receivers and the offensive line, learning little things that they like.
"It's a lot of stuff. It's been a bit overwhelming, but I think I'm handling it OK."
All three of the Panthers' quarterbacks heading into the season have sustained some kind of injury. No. 3 quarterback Brett Basanez was lost for the season in August with a wrist injury. Delhomme went down nearly three weeks ago with a right elbow injury, and Monday decided to undergo ligament-replacement surgery.
Carr became the starter and was injured when his back bent awkwardly on a sack in the second quarter of last Sunday's game at New Orleans. He was carted into the locker room and replaced by Moore, who threw a 43-yard pass to Keary Colbert on a drive that produced a field goal.
Carr, after receiving treatment and taking several pain pills, returned in the second half against the Saints. He threw a touchdown pass to Steve Smith in Carolina's come-from-behind win.
But Carr has been able to do little since, and with a bye next week, the Panthers may try to rest him and get by with Testaverde against the Cardinals.
"That has crossed my mind," Carr said of sitting out Sunday. "But I played last week with it. I was sore and I was on a lot of stuff to play that game. It could go either way."
LB Dan Morgan is likely out at least until the Indianapolis game on Oct. 28 due to his partially torn Achilles' tendon. ... RB Nick Goings (concussion) and LB Adam Seward (calf) missed practice for a second straight day. ... CB Ken Lucas (shoulder) was limited in practice after missing Wednesday's workout. ... In breaking with tradition, Fox has decided to fly to Phoenix on Friday, a day early, so the team can get acclimated to the three-hour time change.