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November 30, 2009

UPDATE: Finger injury may force Fox to replace Delhomme

   Carolina Panthers coach John Fox may have no choice now but to start Matt Moore at quarterback in place of Jake Delhomme.

   In a development that apparently came as a surprise even to him, Fox announced Monday that Delhomme suffered a broken finger on his right (throwing) hand late in Sunday’s 17-6 loss to the New York Jets that may sideline him for next week’s game against Tampa Bay.

   “Obviously, he’ll be day to day and we’ll see what he can take and can’t take,” said Fox. “I’d say it’ll probably be pretty hard-pressed for him to take (practice) snaps Wednesday.”

   Fox said “it’s fairly safe to say” Moore would get Wednesday’s repetitions with the first team offense.

   Delhomme was injured with 2:24 to go in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard completion to Dwayne Jarrett, according to Fox.

   “I think he got a (defenders’) hand caught in between his fingers and kind of moved (a finger) in a non-normal direction,” said Fox.

   Fox declined to specify which finger was injured because NFL rules don’t require him to do so.

   Fox said he learned about the injury about an hour before his weekly meeting with reporters. Neither Delhomme nor team officials were aware he’d sustained a significant injury during the game.

   “I think more or less it got sore overnight and it was definitely sore this morning, and the docs took a look at it today,” said Fox.

   Fox already had said after the game that he’d re-evaluate the entire offense for possible lineup changes. It was the second time this season that he’d left open the possibility of benching Delhomme. The previous time, following a 20-9 loss to Buffalo on Oct. 25, he decided to stick with Delhomme.

   Delhomme had a 12.7 passer rating against the Jets, his lowest of the season and second lowest in his seven years with the Panthers, trailing on the 12.3 he had in a win at Oakland last season.

   He was 14 of 34 passing against the Jets for 130 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions.

   He already has established a single-season career high with 18 interceptions, tied for second most in the NFL behind only the 20 by Chicago’s Jay Cutler. Three of Delhomme’s interceptions have been returned for touchdowns and six more resulted in TDs.

   Fox almost defiantly defended Delhomme Monday when asked if it might actually be good for Delhomme to get some time off, considering what this season’s struggles likely have done to his confidence.

   “I think with a broke finger, he’s going to get a little time away from it,” said Fox. “If his finger wasn’t an issue, I couldn’t with a straight face make a change just to him.

   “That was a combined effort by the offensive players, not just one player – just for the record. And I would say we get a chance to research those things. It was poor not just by the quarterback.”

   The Panthers totaled just 179 yards of offense against the Jets, their fewest since a season-opening loss to Philadelphia, a game in which Delhomme had four interceptions and a fumble.

   Moore had a 2-1 record as a starter at the end of the 2007 season, when Delhomme was sidelined following reconstructive elbow surgery. However, he didn’t play at all last season and only sparingly this year, completing 6 of 12 passes for 63 yards and an interception.

   “We haven’t gotten a chance to see him in a whole lot of live play lately,” Fox said of Moore. “I think he’s capable of making all the throws. He’s got the height, weight and arm strength you look for.

   “The quarterback position is about decision-making. Until you get in there in live situations, you really never know, and he hasn’t had that opportunity a lot. I think he prepares hard and he’ll definitely give his best effort.”


   Charles Chandler: (704) 358-5123 and @CharlesChandler on Twitter.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2009 at 02:20 PM | Permalink


I don't mind if we lose with Matt Moore, at least it will not have that same groundhog day feeling to it that comes from watching Jake miss the same throws and make audibles that don't appear to be working. I noticed Bojangles is even sick of his face, running commercials without him in them during the games this year.

This week will help the new coach evaluate if Matt has a future with the Panthers.

Posted by: SportsDon | Nov 30, 2009 2:29:33 PM

This is a cop out. Just admit that you and Marty were wrong and bench him. Say your benching him because he has 8 TD's and 18 INT's. Not an injury.

Posted by: Nate | Nov 30, 2009 2:31:10 PM

Jake knew he was heading for the bench. He went home and intentionally hurt his finger! LOL!

Posted by: Glo | Nov 30, 2009 2:34:04 PM

What a crock! He's saving Jake from Jake.

Posted by: whateva | Nov 30, 2009 2:38:08 PM

I am with SportsDon. I wouldn't care how M.Moore does, just as long as its not Jake. Give the guy a chance. He has a winning record as a starter for us.

I think Fox is scared that Moore playing well will make him seem even more incompetent as a coach. That scares him more than Jake continuing to stink it up!!

Posted by: Chuck | Nov 30, 2009 2:39:50 PM

Even if Matt Moore is dramatically better, Smith, Moose and Jarrett have been doing such a horrible job at getting sepraration from defenders that he probably won't make a dramatic difference. The fact that Smith is having this problem is particularly disturbing.

And I'm not buying the broken finger either. Just man up and admit staying with Jake this long was a mistake. You're not saying which finger got broke because NFL rules don't require you to? That means either the broken finger story is a fraud, or you're just being an @$$ for the sport of it.

Posted by: J | Nov 30, 2009 2:40:30 PM

This smells like B.S. to me. Sounds more like no one wanted to man-up and say "Jake failed us and we need to move on." Either way, I hope he has taken his last snap as a Carolina Panther.

Posted by: AppGrad04 | Nov 30, 2009 2:41:46 PM

broke it sitting on it with it up his arse

Posted by: roger | Nov 30, 2009 2:42:37 PM

Hit it with a hammer!

Posted by: jim | Nov 30, 2009 2:42:39 PM

So what does Davidson need to break to get benched for a while. His play calling has been total shet.

Posted by: Brian | Nov 30, 2009 2:46:01 PM

I know the coaches don't play the game, and I know Fox and Marty are the worst, but how much has the new QB coach affected Jake -- and Steve -- and Moose this year? His butt (and Davidson's) should be gone the day after the season is over. Plenty of blame for this season. It also looks like Steve has given up too. I notice he hasn't had much to say after this game.

Posted by: pantheritis | Nov 30, 2009 2:47:31 PM

If this was soccer they would have been fired a LONG time ago!!!

Posted by: Neesh | Nov 30, 2009 2:51:17 PM

Yeah John Fox has definitely lost this team. And why wouldn't he? He's kept the guy whose winning the game for the other team in this whole time. It's too late now. But I would love to see how much Matt Moore can contribute. The game ball yesterday went to Revis....He should have gave it to Delhomme for padding his stats.

Posted by: Nate | Nov 30, 2009 2:52:52 PM

I think it's a cop out too! Fox is looking for every excuse not to bench Jake even though him and everyone in the NFL knows he should be benched. If McNabb can be benched for a poor game, Delhomme sure as hell can be benched for having several! It's time for a change fellas....including our GM and entire coaching staff! All of them are garbage!

Posted by: stickyd | Nov 30, 2009 2:56:06 PM

Jake is not hurt at all. Fox is trying to save Jake's and HIS OWN FACE by saying Jake is hurt and THAT IS THE ONLY REASON that Matt Moore will start is because of him being hurt and not because Jake is a terrible QB. In other words, if Moore falls flat on his face, Fox can say, "I told you Jake was the better chance of winning."

However one thing Fox didnt count on was Moore has all the reason in the world to be a better QB. For the last year or so Fox has been talking trash about Moore. How inferior of a qb he is to Jake is all he has touted for a while.

I hope Moore has a break out 3 games.

Personally all this falls flatly on Jerry Richardson. He should have done something about this team a while back.

I wished the city of charlotte owned the panthers, much like the city of greenbay owns the packers.

End of Line.

Posted by: Drithe | Nov 30, 2009 2:59:32 PM

BULL CRAP!!! Broke finger my butt!! This is just Fox's way of replacing Delhome without making it look like he was replacing him. UGH!! Man up Fox! Just tell Delhomme he's benched because he's not playing good. Dang Man!

Posted by: Jake | Nov 30, 2009 3:02:05 PM

As a long-time Panther and Delhomme fan, I would like to say that I, too, hope Jake sits Sunday's game out, but not because of his caliber of play lately, but simply to give him a rest from the "fans" here in Charlotte. I understand disappointment and frustration, but my overriding emotion is hurt. My heart literally hurts for the Panthers and for Jake. It's not like Jake gets up on a Sunday morning and says to his wife, "Honey, I think I'll go out today and throw four interceptions...hmmmm....yes, let's just do that!" Many of you people are way over the top--faking a broken finger?!?!?!? Give me a break! Jake has always been a stand-up guy, taking blame probably at times when it wasn't his fault. Having said all this, let me make a request: LAY OFF!!!!!!!!!! I believe you have crucified the man totally. If there is a major shake-up, and the Panthers have a new coach, GM, QB and possibly OC and DC, I'm looking forward to reading the weeping and wailing when you wake up and smell the coffee and realize that all will not be instant gratification/Super Bowl!

In conclusion, thank you, Jake, for what you've done for the Panthers and for Charlotte. Thanks for the many, many beautiful passes to Smitty for touchdowns or to put us in 1st and goal situations...thank you for your heart and your passion and your tireless efforts. If, indeed, this is your last season as a Panther, I hope you turn things around and go out on a blow-out win for the Panthers. I still do, and always will, believe that you are a winner--and winning is measured by more than the final score!

Posted by: Panthergirl | Nov 30, 2009 3:10:03 PM

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... wake me when it's over.

Posted by: mike | Nov 30, 2009 3:12:39 PM

I think Jake's supposed injury is a fitting end to a very sad saga. I believe that Carolina will have to make wholesale changes from the head coach on down. Maybe there is more to Julius Peppers desire to leave this organization than makes it to print. Whatever, let's erase this episode and start anew. It can't be worse.

Posted by: Smitty | Nov 30, 2009 3:17:10 PM

It seems we all are in agreement; Fox stinks, Jake wont get anymore free BoJangles chicken boxes, Steve Smith has had it, Richardson has to make some real changes or lose his "fans", and the wildcat offense is our best best for the rest of the year.

Posted by: TreacherousRBslick | Nov 30, 2009 3:18:21 PM

Really? You've got to be kidding yourself if'n you think Fox is going to let Matt loose to begin with. This is how the offense, under Fox, breaks down; run first, run second, run third and take a sack fourth. Matt Moore will be a glorified hand offer and nothing more. He'll be kept to fewer than 25 pass attempts and hand off the ball 40 times. It's the same product regardless who's hands are under Kalil's twig and berries...

Posted by: really? | Nov 30, 2009 3:19:15 PM

Good words Panthergirl.

Posted by: Dtownres | Nov 30, 2009 3:19:42 PM

My bad everyone. I was trying to punch Jake in the head and that sucka is quicker than you think! He put up a good block with his hand and I must have busted one of his fingers. My hand hurts a little too, but I'm not worried about it since no one can get me the ball anyways.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 30, 2009 3:34:27 PM

How quickly we forget all the successes this franchise has enjoyed during Coach John Fox's tenure. It is true that this is not the expectation we envisioned for this team, but to unload with such venom shows a complete lack of class and understanding.

Owner Jerry Richardson, Coach John Fox and Quarterback Jake Delhomme have proven their excellence in their chosen endeavors. Furthermore they are class individuals.

Thankfully the individuals who posted their divisive comments are not making decisions for the Carolina Panthers.

Posted by: Ralph M. Barker | Nov 30, 2009 3:40:16 PM

SUCKS that Moore may get to start on the toughest portion of the schedule when he could have started with some of these other teams to build up some confidence.

Posted by: MARC | Nov 30, 2009 3:42:14 PM

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