Carolina Panthers

Panthers to start Testaverde at Green Bay

Carolina quarterback Vinny Testaverde grimaces as he is hit from behind by an Atlanta defender.
Carolina quarterback Vinny Testaverde grimaces as he is hit from behind by an Atlanta defender.

CHARLOTTE -- The Panthers have decided to go with Vinny Testaverde as their starting quarterback this week at Green Bay.

But given what they've been through this year, coach John Fox isn't about to call it a year-long thing.

"Right now, I'm not going to name a guy for the season because a lot can happen week-to-week," Fox said. "So, I'll just say he's our starting quarterback Sunday."

The 44-year-old Testaverde started last week, though the team honestly wasn't sure he was going to make it through the game because of a sore right Achilles. But he hasn't experienced the setbacks after practice he did a week ago, giving him confidence the problem was largely behind him.

"He had a good week of practice," Fox said. "He was able to get through the week of practice. That's good for him and good for us. I couldn't say the same last week."

The Panthers are hoping for any degree of consistency on offense. Since starting quarterback Jake Delhomme was knocked out for the season in Week 3 with an elbow injury (taking his eight touchdowns with him), the Panthers have just four touchdown passes.

They rank 26th in the league in scoring and 28th in total offense.

They've managed just 20 points in the last three games, all losses.

• SMITTY STILL OUT: Wide receiver Steve Smith was held out for the third straight day because of a shin injury, a problem he didn't realize was serious until the aftermath of last week's loss to Atlanta. He's listed as questionable for Sunday.

Other than that, the injury news was good.

Defensive tackle Damione Lewis (shoulder) is listed as questionable, while safety Deke Cooper (shoulder), running back DeShaun Foster (toe) and cornerback Ken Lucas (hip) are all listed as probable.

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