The NFL thought Panthers defensive end Greg Hardys hit on former Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer last season was deserving of a penalty flag and a $25,000 fine.
But the guy who sustained cracked ribs and a bruised lung on the play said Hardys hit was clean.
I do definitely remember it, and I probably wont forget it, Palmer said Wednesday during a conference call with Charlotte media. He got me good. I gave him an opportunity to get me. I dont think it should have been a flag. Those kind of hits now, just because they look pretty gruesome, get flagged. But it was a legal hit and my own fault for not getting rid of the football.
Palmer, the Cardinals quarterback who will face the Panthers again this week in Arizona, was dropped late in the first quarter on a blind-side hit from Hardy after rolling out of the pocket, stopping and setting his feet to throw.
Hardy had a running start when he hit Palmer in the lower back and was called for unnecessary roughness for leading with his head. Palmer left the game and missed the Raiders season finale the following week.
I remember looking up on the big screen inside that stadium and it didnt look too good, Palmer said. It looked good for him, bad for me.
Panthers safety Mike Mitchell, who was with the Raiders the past four seasons, was uncertain whether it was a legal play.
He rocked him. I dont know if he hit him with the crown of the helmet. But just looking at it, it looked like a violent football play, Mitchell said. But the way theyre calling the game now, if its too hard theyre calling a penalty no matter where you hit him anyway.
Hardy, coming off a three-sack game against the Giants, missed Wednesdays practice after showing up at the stadium with a fever. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the training staff sent Hardy home with medicine and hopes to have him back Thursday.
CHASE THE LEADER AT LB: Rivera indicated he is sticking with Chase Blackburn as the starter at weakside linebacker. Blackburn started over veteran Jon Beason against the Giants, in part because of Blackburns knowledge of his former team.
But Rivera said Beason is still not 100 percent after injuries limited him to five games in 2011 and 2012. Beason said recently hes still dealing with pain after microfracture surgery on his right knee last fall.
Were working them both. Right now Chase has got the lead, and I think a big part of it is Chase is a little more comfortable at it right now, Rivera said. I think Jons going to continue to work and get himself back to football shape. Its been pretty much two years since hes really had opportunities. So well work with Chase, and Jon will get opportunities as well.
BROWN OUT FOR CARDS: The Cardinals dealt left tackle Levi Brown to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for a conditional, late-round draft pick, according to reports. Brown, the No. 5 overall pick in 2007, started every game for Arizona from 2008-11 before sitting out last season with a triceps injury.
Bradley Sowell, a second-year player who was undrafted out of Mississippi, is expected to get his first career start against the Panthers in Browns former spot.
Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson said hed never heard of Sowell, but planned to watch tape of him this week.
Were going to see, Johnson said. Every guy steps up given an opportunity, so Ill have to see what hes like.
After the Panthers sacked Eli Manning seven times two weeks ago, Johnson said hes pleased to be going against another pocket passer in Palmer.
Hes not as mobile as other quarterbacks weve been playing, Johnson said. Yeah, I love that.
INJURY UPDATES: Cornerback Josh Thomas, sidelined for the Giants game with post-concussion symptoms, has his starting job back. But Rivera said he hasnt forgotten about Drayton Florence and undrafted rookie Melvin White, both of whom played well in Thomas absence.
Melvin Whites got to play. Drayton Florences got to play, Rivera said. Weve got a good combination going there, and these guys have to have opportunities.
Despite sitting out against the Giants and taking the bye week off, starting defensive tackle Dwan Edwards remains out with a hamstring injury.
Big guys with (injuries to their) hamstrings is always a concern, Rivera said. They tend to not heal as quick, I guess.
Rookie defensive tackle Kawann Short rolled his ankle during 1-on-1 drills Wednesday and was hobbled for the rest of practice, Rivera said. Defensive backs Quintin Mikell (ankle) and D.J. Moore (knee) remain out.
PRACTICE SQUAD MOVE: The Panthers signed former Browns wideout Cordell Roberson to the practice squad to replace running back Tauren Poole, who has a left knee injury. Roberson had four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown for Cleveland in the preseason, but was cut last week.
Poole, who led the Panthers in rushing during the preseason with 114 yards on 39 carries, is not eligible to return to the teams practice squad or active roster this season.
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