Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme was limping noticeably toward the end of Sunday's 24-9 victory against Atlanta, but Wednesday he practiced and said he was back to full strength.
“I felt good; I got hit in the quadriceps (thigh) early on; we wrapped it at halftime; it might have been just a little too tight. … But it felt fine – sore, don't get me wrong – but I was able to do everything today and wasn't limited in any aspect at all.”
Delhomme was named NFC player of the week after completing 20 of 29 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons. That was good for a 124.8 passer rating.
“It's a great team award; I'm not big on that kind of stuff,” he said. “The thing I'm more proud of is that we had to play seven (offensive) linemen (because of injuries) … Those guys came in and did a good job.”
to play Sunday
Left tackle Jordan Gross, who suffered a concussion against Atlanta, is unlikely to play Sunday. He attended practice but didn't participate. Backup Frank Omiyale took most of the snaps in his place.
Gross was unavailable for comment afterward.
“Do I wish Jordan was out there? Absolutely,” said Delhomme. “Every snap I have ever taken here, Jordan has always been one of the tackles, right or left. He's a solid force for us. He's a rock. He'll be missed, but he'll be back.”
Omiyale, who joined the team last season, is a fourth-year player who has never started in the NFL.
“Whatever happens on Sunday, hopefully I'm going to be ready and going to make it happen,” Omiyale said. “I'm just trying to do my job, know my assignments and wait for the call.”
Having already held four quality running backs below 100 yards rushing, defensive tackle Damione Lewis was asked if stopping them from reaching triple figures is a specific unit target.
“The goal is under 3.3 yards a carry,” he said. “I mean, if the guy totes the ball 35 times and he averages 3.3, of course he's going to have a hundred yards rushing, but the goal is to keep him under 3.3.”
Lewis wasn't sure why that number was chosen, but said it's been the same for defensive units since his college days.
Five players didn't practice because of injuries: Besides Gross (concussion), the list included cornerback Ken Lucas (ankle), quarterback Matt Moore (leg), offensive tackle Jeff Otah (ankle) and safety Quinton Teal.
Veteran safety Terence Holt, who went through the preseason with the Panthers before being released on the team's final cut, worked out Tuesday for Houston.