CHARLOTTE -- Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme has a strained right elbow, and his status for this week's game against Tampa Bay is up in the air.
Delhomme had an MRI on this throwing arm Monday after leaving Sunday's game at Atlanta during the third quarter. The tests showed no structural damage, but it's far from certain whether he'd be available for the Buccaneers game. Coach John Fox said the injury wouldn't require surgery, and gave his classic diagnosis.
"I know you guys hate hearing this," Fox said. "But it's day-to-day."
Delhomme said his elbow began bothering him after a third-quarter sack, when "the guy tried to rip it out." He stayed in and threw a touchdown pass to Jeff King, but had to leave the next series after experiencing some discomfort on the sidelines.
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"That play, something felt a little off," he said. "The adrenaline, you're going, I was able to throw the touchdown to King. And we came back, and I threw on the sidelines, which is something I rarely, if ever, do. It was just hurting a little. ... It just didn't feel right."
He left after throwing a short pass to fullback Brad Hoover, doubling over and grabbing his elbow.
"It's OK right now," Delhomme said. "It feels fine. But if I grab something or whatnot, it'll hurt a little bit trying to generate some power. And that's what happened yesterday during the game. It just got to the point where the last little pass to Hoover, it really hurt.
"I couldn't help us after that. It was too much of a sharp pain that I hadn't had yet."
Delhomme said he's always taken pride in being a quick healer, and he hopes a few days of treatment will help. When asked, Fox said he couldn't even rule out a return this week.
"I would say there's days between now and when we play this week," Fox said. "So I can't rule anything, other than day-to-day."
• PRAISE FOR CARR: The Panthers were pleased with their upgrade at backup quarterback, since David Carr was efficient in getting the Panthers out of the Atlanta game after Delhomme left.
He completed 3-of-4 passes for 56 yards, including a 38-yard strike to Keary Colbert. His passer rating for the day was a solid 116.7.
"I thought he did good," Fox said. "We didn't change what we were doing, because, 'Oh no, we're putting in our backup quarterback.' He went out there and managed the game well. I think we had one little miscue on a change of play, and we do some of that. That's no mystery to anybody, and he executed that well. He played well enough for us to win."
• EXTRA POINTS: While Fox had news on Delhomme's condition, he said he hadn't heard back on linebacker Dan Morgan, who left Sunday's game with a hamstring strain and a heel injury.
"The hospital must get crowded on Monday, I don't know," Fox said.
Team officials said later in the day that Morgan had tendinitis in his heel, along with the hamstring and shoulder problems that knocked him in and out of Sunday's game. ... The Panthers will probably keep fiddling with their kickoff return personnel, after using both Nick Goings and rookie Ryne Robinson there against the Falcons. They rank 29th in the league in that category, at a pedestrian 20.2 yards per attempt.