Matt Moore practicing on Wednesday for the Panthers was a very good sign for the quarterback. I'd now be stunned if he doesn't start Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Moore had the second concussion of his football career Sunday against the New York Giants -- he said Wednesday afternoon that his first one came in high school. As coach John Fox had hypothesized Monday, Moore had the concussion on his next-to-last snap, when his head banged into the artificial turf on a sack.
Shortly afterward, Moore came out to direct the next series -- he described this as an "in-the-moment-thing." It's now clear, of course, that Moore shouldn't have been out there at all for that series -- he already had had the concussion -- but at the time it apparently wasn't evident.
So Moore dropped back, Jordan Gross missed a block and Moore got blindsided (fumbling for the second straight play). It was at this point that he felt nauseous and came out of the game. (Jimmy Clausen came in, ran for his life on a couple of plays and threw two incompletions).
In any event, Moore seemed more or less himself Wednesday, although a little more serious and a little less jokey than usual during his interview session. That may not be a bad thing. Moore certainly deserves to start again Sunday -- I wrote a column to that effect in Monday's newspaper -- but he isn't going to have unlimited chances to get this right. Concussions are serious. The Panthers' offensive problems are serious. Something positive better happen Sunday.
Tampa Bay at home -- now that's a game the Panthers better win. Carolina's talent level is better than the Bucs, and you can't say that anymore about too many NFL teams.
3 months ago