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Panthers get some experience

Testaverde, 43, joins team to back up Carr

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 encouraged

Dolphins 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.

Rolle ready to roll

Baltimore cornerback Samari Rolle practiced in full gear and expects to play Sunday after a three-game absence. Rolle was sidelined since Sept. 20 with an illness that required a brief hospital stay. He declined to discuss specifics. "To wake up one morning and think you're going to work and end up in the hospital, it's scary," Rolle said. The former Pro Bowler wasn't ready to reclaim his starting role against the St. Louis Rams, but he intends to play . . . Lance Briggs, who once said he'd never play another down for the Chicago Bears, apparently wouldn't mind sticking around now. The Pro Bowl linebacker said he ended his media boycott because the league intervened. He reversed course from his comments in the offseason, when he blasted management for labeling him a franchise player and threatened a prolonged holdout. "I'd love to be here," he said. . . . Damon Huard's injured shoulder held up fine in practice and he will be Kansas City's starting quarterback Sunday against Cincinnati . . . Former Patriot Artrell Hawkins was charged with drunk driving in Cincinnati early yesterday morning after his vehicle struck another car, according to the Enquirer of Cincinnati.

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