Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy the same year his new Carolina teammate Dwayne Jarrett was born. He was the No. 1 overall pick eight years before the Panthers entered the NFL.
Yet the soon-to-be 44-year-old Testaverde - nicknamed "Dad" by his new teammates - could start Sunday for the banged-up Panthers at Arizona.
"I'm just surprised that people are still interested in a 44-year-old quarterback that hasn't played in five or six weeks," Testaverde said yesterday. "It's like starting as a rookie, that excited, nervous, ready-to-go feeling."
The Panthers, who signed Testaverde to a one-year deal, hope he will be ready after a five-day crash course. With Jake Delhomme set to undergo season-ending elbow surgery and David Carr nursing a back injury, Testaverde could be the best option.
"He's a guy we were fortunate enough to find at this point in the season," coach John Fox said.
Joining his sixth franchise, Testaverde has played in 226 games with 208 starts. He was cut by New England before the start of the season.
"He brings experience," general manager Marty Hurney said. "He throws the ball extremely well."
The Panthers hope Carr will be able to play Sunday. "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.
Green encouragedDolphins quarterback Trent Green flew to Kansas City for medical consultations and was optimistic about the recovery from his second severe concussion in 13 months.
"He went through some tests this morning, and he told me that it's very encouraging," coach Cam Cameron said.
"He's really upbeat," Cameron said. "That's what makes those guys who they are - they're competitors. They can't imagine not playing. With that being said, we've got to let this thing play out."
Green, 37, was knocked unconscious with a Grade 3 concussion, the most severe, in Sunday's loss at Houston when he tried to block Travis Johnson. A concussion in the 2006 opener with the Kansas City Chiefs sidelined Green for eight games.
According to ESPN.com, Johnson's taunting of Green afterward won't result in a fine by the NFL because the league said Johnson was reacting to what he thought was a dirty play.