CHARLOTTE -- Panthers quarterback David Carr moved to the interview room Wednesday in baby steps, fitting since he said he's making progress as he rehabs his sore back.
"I felt like my grandpa Monday, I felt like my dad today, hopefully I'll feel like my 7-year-old son by Sunday," Carr said with a laugh, as he sat stiffly in a chair. "It's not as bad as it was Sunday, or Monday or Tuesday. I've gotten better every day so that makes you feel good."
Carr's been a mess since being sacked, folded, twisted and spindled by New Orleans defensive end Will Smith. With his apparent pain, he was held out of practice Wednesday.
Coach John Fox, looking for a new way around "day-to-day," offered up a ray of hope.
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"We anticipate we've got a shot at him playing on Sunday," Fox said. "And we'll see as each day goes by."
Of his absence from practice, Carr seemed to indicate it was no decision at all.
"It's pretty sore," he said. "Precautionary-slash-I don't know if I would have been very productive today. We'll see how it feels tomorrow.
"Just basically, the vertebrae got squished. I went the wrong way. I leaned forward too far. Like, if you're doing a stretch and you lean forward and then someone who weighs about 300 pounds comes and sits on you right when you get to the point where you can't go any farther, that's basically what happened."
While his numbers aren't impressive (64.6 rating), he came into a tied game and led them to a win at Atlanta. He showed his mettle by coming back last week after admitting to taking every pill and injection the training staff moved his way.
"As far as I was concerned, I just wanted to show them that by coming back into the game, I wasn't going to give up on them just because my back hurt a little bit," Carr said. "I mean, that stuff you can fix. We talked so much about being a team the whole week, sticking together, for me to just kind of put a towel on my head and sit on the sideline the rest of the game, that wasn't my personality, I didn't want to show that to them in only my second start with these guys."
• EXTRA POINTS: The Panthers practiced without linebackers Dan Morgan (Achilles) and Adam Seward (calf), running back Nick Goings (concussion) and cornerback Ken Lucas (shoulder). Linebacker James Anderson (thigh) was limited.