NFL notebook: Delhomme misses practice

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2006

Associated Press

The NFL notebook …

Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme started 66 consecutive games before a thumb injury snapped his streak last week.

Watching from the sidelines is something Delhomme hopes he never has to do again.

“When the teams get introduced and you walk out from the other tunnel, it kind of feels like you have no life inside of you,” Delhomme said Wednesday. “It feels like you aren’t part of it. As a player, that’s the hardest thing — especially when things aren’t going the way you want them to.

“You want to be a part of the solution. To not be able to help wasn’t fun.”

Delhomme isn’t sure, though, if he’ll be on the field this week as the Panthers desperately try to rally back into playoff contention.

Delhomme watched practice from the sideline with a soft black cast on his right hand. He briefly tried to throw last Friday, but knew instantly he wasn’t ready.

“I have a little trouble with strength and gripping the ball, that’s the whole issue,” he said. “Had it been another finger, it wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s the thumb, and there’s a ton of swelling and we’re just trying to get the swelling out and build up some strength.”

JAGUARS

Running back Fred Taylor missed practice Wednesday because of a sore right hamstring, but coach Jack Del Rio expects him to play at Tennessee.

Taylor strained his hamstring Sunday against Indianapolis. He ran nine times for a season-high 131 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but sat out the rest of the game.

BILLS

Linebacker Takeo Spikes and left tackle Jason Peters missed practice as the injury-depleted Bills prepared to take on Miami this weekend.

PATRIOTS

Rookie running back Laurence Maroney is listed as questionable after missing his first game with a back injury.

DOLPHINS

Shane Matthews looked across the Miami locker room and quickly realized it’s a big step up from the team he was with this fall.

“They have talent,” Matthews said. “It’s a lot better than the 7-year-old flag football team I was coaching.”

GIANTS

DE Michael Strahan participated in individual drills “to get himself in position to know more about his status,” Coughlin said. Strahan has missed five games with a mid-foot sprain.

VIKINGS

RB Chester Taylor will try to play this week and is listed as questionable.

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