Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy acknowledged Monday that he was removed from a drill in practice last week after he "messed up," but he said he didn't that to spur his best game of the season.
In Sunday's 23-22 loss to Chicago, Hardy sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler three times and affected Cutler from both end and tackle. He got the sacks this week, but he said he's been knocking on the door for two weeks.
"I feel like, I hit the Cowboys quarterback three or four times anyway, but I need time to sack him," Hardy said. "You just got to keep coming and eventually they'll fall. I can't make them hold it every game. And if he does hold it, I'm going to be there."
Hardy has been playing with a fractured thumb since midway through the Week 3 game against the New York Giants. On Sunday he played in 42 of the defense's 55 snaps.
"Sometimes things happen during the week that just like anything, whether it's effort or technique, you've got to get it addressed as a coach," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "And that's what we did. I appreciate how Greg responded to the challenge. He handled it like a pro. And to his credit, he came out and had a huge game."
McDermott pointed out that with five sacks this season for Hardy, he already has more than last season (four), and the team still isn't halfway through the season.
TRADE DEADLINE: Running back DeAngelo Williams has been the subject of trade talk, but head coach Ron Rivera said he doesn't anticipate any moves before Thursday's trade deadline.
"We've got to sit here and see if somebody does call," Rivera said. "We're not looking to move anybody or send anybody away or try to get anybody out there. I don't think we have a lot to give in terms of trying to trade for players. Right now we're going to go through it and stay with where we are, see what happens."
A team source told the Observer at least one playoff-contending team has contacted the Panthers asking about Williams, whose role in the Panthers' backfield has diminished in recent weeks. Rivera declined to comment specifically about Williams' situation and deferred questions to interim general manager Brandon Beane.
The trade deadline was originally set for Tuesday, but the NFL pushed it back to Thursday as the league office has closed in the early part of the week for Hurricane Sandy.
INJURY UPDATE: Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards suffered a sprained ankle Sunday. He said someone rolled him up during the second half, and on Monday he had a walking boot on.
MARY STATS: The decision left some scratching their heads.
Rivera reiterated Monday the decision to attempt a Hail Mary at the end of the first half rather than attempt a 50-yard field goal was because of the variable and strong winds at Soldier Field. Rivera feared that wind would have affected a Justin Medlock kick.
Hail Marys aren't typically successful, and Newton's pass sailed out of the back of the end zone.
When asked if he looks at the statistics on Hail Mary and if that shapes his decision, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said he had not.
"But I know they call it Hail Mary for a reason," he joked. "That's really about the only stat I have."
MURPHY OK WITH NEWTON: Newton caught some criticism Sunday when he did not congratulate Louis Murphy for recovering a Newton fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Fox broadcasting crew said Newton should have thanked Murphy for bailing him out, but instead the quarterback walked back to the sideline and sat on the bench by himself.
Newton said after the game that he was upset with himself for fumbling and thanked Murphy for recovering the fumble. Murphy didn't seem to care on Monday.
"No big deal," he said. "I probably wouldn't be too happy if I fumbled, either."
Staff writer Joseph Person contributed to this article.