NFL: QB change likely for Panthers
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009
CHARLOTTEó The Panthers were in full secrecy mode Wednesday, with Jake Delhomme hiding his hand in his pocket and coach John Fox talking in circles.
Despite the obstacles, it was hard to ignore the hints that Carolina will have a new quarterback Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Matt Moore practiced with the first team ó albeit in a cramped indoor facility because of heavy rain ó while an idle Delhomme had his throwing hand wrapped and his index and middle fingers taped together.
Delhomme had been able to keep his job despite a career-high 18 interceptions in 11 games, but his broken finger may finally sideline him and give the untested Moore a chance to get the Panthers (4-7) out of their offensive funk.
Saying he’d be “hard-pressed to grip a football right now,” Delhomme wouldn’t rule himself out Sunday as he kept his hand hidden in his pocket to attempt to shield whether the index or middle finger is broken. Fox stuck to his “day-to-day” mantra, but Moore and his teammates were preparing for his first start since 2007.
“I think this is a great opportunity for Matt,” receiver Muhsin Muhammad said. “Obviously, we won’t do a lot of the things that Jake does well, but we’ll do the things that Matt does well.”
Delhomme has done little well in the worst season of his career. He threw four more interceptions in Sunday’s 17-6 loss to the Jets, the last coming after he banged hands with New York linebacker Calvin Pace on a fourth-down completion. Delhomme said his finger bent toward his pinkie.
Fox said they’ve had no discussions about placing Delhomme on injured reserve.