New Panthers kicker Graham Gano said his decision to switch jersey numbers from 4 to 9 was not motivated by the kicker who used to wear No. 4 original Panther and franchise scoring leader John Kasay.
Gano, who signed with the Panthers on Tuesday after Justin Medlock was waived, said he was unaware of the controversy he created by asking Kasay for permission to wear his number.
Jared Green, a practice squad receiver and son of former Redskins great Darrell Green, switched to No. 10 so that Gano could wear 9.
I just slept on it. I did want 9 in the first place. I had No. 9 in the UFL, Gano said Friday. I just wanted 9. It ended up working out well after I slept on it.
Whatever Ganos rationale, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said returning No. 4 to the equipment room was a good decision.
After I heard he was going to take it, I thought, Whoa. I really did, Rivera said. If you think about it, it would have been like when I played for the Bears, wanting to wear Dick Butkus number. So Im glad he made the decision.
Gano said earlier this week he requested No. 4 because it was the number he had had for three seasons with Washington. Gano said Kasay had given him the OK to wear it.
But Gano changed his mind a day later.
League fines Davis, Anderson: Panthers linebackers Thomas Davis and James Anderson were fined for hits during last Sundays loss to Tampa Bay. The league fined Davis $21,000 for striking Tiquan Underwood, a defenseless receiver, in the head, and docked Anderson $10,000 for his hit to quarterback Josh Freemans head.
Both players said they plan to appeal.
I just told my kids they cant have Christmas, Davis said. Hopefully, I can put together a good enough argument so they can see that it wasnt anything that was malicious or done intentional. They can see I clearly tried to follow by the rules and get up under his shoulder pads.
Davis hit came after an 18-yard completion to Underwood, and was a big play in the Bucs game-tying drive at the end of regulation. Davis believes Underwood did a good acting job to draw a late penalty flag.
If you watch the TV copy, theyve got (Underwood) on the sideline laughing and just having a good time after that. So it was pretty clear that something was up, Davis said. I think offense figured out if you lay down after you get hit, theyll (throw) a flag. Hopefully, theyll go back and review that and start putting fines in for the offense like the NBA has the flopping fine. Thats a flop.
Anderson said he grazed Freeman after preparing to hit him before Freeman went into a protective slide.
Also, Tampa Bay offensive guard Ted Larsen was fined $7,875 for his late hit on defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.
Injury update: DE Greg Hardy (illness), DE Antwan Applewhite (hamstring) and special teams player Jordan Senn (ankle) missed practice Thursday. Hardy is expected to be fine for Mondays game.
Devouring the playbook: Right guard Jeremy Bridges spent Thanksgiving Day eating and playing darts and pool at DeAngelo Williams house, followed by a night studying the playbook on his iPad. Bridges, signed last week to help the Panthers line, said the cram sessions have been tough.
Im trying to learn personnel, trying to learn technique, trying to learn the plays. Its a heavy dose, Bridges said.
Bridges, who was inactive against Tampa Bay, expects to play Monday but is uncertain whether hell start.