CHARLOTTE -- Obviously, the Carolina Panthers' problems on offense stem from the lack of continuity at the quarterback position.
Guess what? It might not be getting any better anytime soon.
Coach John Fox said Monday that quarterback David Carr suffered a concussion late in Sunday's 20-7 loss to Tennessee, and that he's "still being evaluated," as to whether he can play this week against Atlanta.
It's impossible to know what they'd do next, as they thought they had done everything previously. Already, they've put starter Jake Delhomme and presumed third stringer Brett Basanez on injured reserve, and missed Carr for parts of two games because of compression fractures in his lower back suffered in New Orleans.
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Vinny Testaverde, who'll turn 44 next week, is still bothered by the tendinitis in his right Achilles, and didn't even dress for the Tennessee game, though he was listed as the emergency third quarterback. Fox said it would have taken a "super, super emergency" for him to play, such as a close game late and not a blowout.
Instead, they went with undrafted rookie Matt Moore -- who, if he were smart, would either hide in a cave or invest in body armor and insurance as quickly as possible.
Fox was asked the ultimate hypothetical question Monday, as to which quarterback he'd prefer if they all were healthy.
"That's speculation," he replied. "We'll play whoever's ready."
When asked if they'd need another guy, Fox said: "As we move forward, we've evaluating it. It's truly day to day. I wouldn't say that's not a possibility."
There's little wonder Carr wasn't able to finish Sunday's game, after being sacked seven times and taking at least two cheap shots after plays, one a helmet to the middle of his back by Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and another when Antwan Odom dove at his knees.
By the time the game was over, it was a wonder the concussion he suffered when Tony Brown dropped him to the ground wasn't the least of his worries.
Carr said Monday he had a concussion his second year with Houston, but was otherwise clear. He said he woke up Monday with a headache, took Tylenol and moved on. He'll go through a battery of tests Wednesday to see if he's clear to return.
"I feel fine right now," Carr said Monday afternoon.
Fox was likewise vague when asked to compare Testaverde's problem with the partially torn Achilles that's kept linebacker Dan Morgan shelved the last five weeks.
"My understanding of Achilles are they are either torn and need surgery or it's tendinitis," Fox said. "That in-between, I really can't answer whether it's like Dan's, or not like Dan's. I know it's not completely torn, but it just hurts when he pushes off of it."
Honestly, the way the Panthers were protecting Sunday, not many quarterbacks would have finished, much less thrived.
And since they've scored single touchdowns in three of their four losses (two of those in the fourth quarters of blowouts), it's hard to zoom in on one thing.
"Really, poor execution," Fox said of the struggles. "I'd say don't lose sight that they're a pretty talented defense. But we just had a lot of errors. We had three false start penalties. A couple of other different penalties, and they make for unmanageable situations. We had breakdowns whether it's a run call or a protection call, might have held the ball too long in some cases, maybe not as crisp on the route as we needed to be.
"We just did not execute as well as we needed to to have an opportunity to win the game."
Fox defended Carr's decision-making, and refused to single him out. Even teammates who were circling the wagons around him Sunday mentioned that he was the quarterback "right now," and that's hardly an endorsement.
"Anytime you're rotating people through at quarterback, it can make your confidence vulnerable," Fox said. "I think just the continuity aspect of the game changes. But those are the cards we're dealt and we've got to make the best with what we've been dealt. Yesterday wasn't quite good enough."
Asked specifically if they could win with Carr under center, Fox continued to cast a wide net over the issue.
"We've been 50/50," he said. "We've had a variety of quarterbacks. I can't lock it all onto one guy. I can't do the exact count on quarterbacks. We've had a few of them in there. Jake, David, as well as Vinny and even really for that matter, so is Matt Moore.
"I don't think the fact that we're 4-4 you can pin on one quarterback. Even for that matter moving forward on one quarterback. We'll evaluate our quarterback situation this week and we'll go from there."
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