Carr confident he will be starting Sunday

Published 6:57 am Thursday, October 18, 2007

By By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE — David Carr thinks he’ll be healthy enough to play for the Carolina Panthers when they return from their bye week. He also thinks he should be the starter ahead of Vinny Testaverde.
Carr shrugged off questions of a quarterback controversy with the 43-year-old Testaverde, who replaced an injured Carr on Sunday against Arizona and led the Panthers to a 25-10 win four days after he was signed.
Coach John Fox helped fuel the Testaverde talk this week when he refused to name Carr the starter if his sore back is recovered in time for the Oct. 28 game against Indianapolis.
Carr insisted that didn’t bother him.
Carr appeared confident he’ll be the guy. He said there’s a ‘‘100 percent chance’’ he’ll be healthy by the Indianapolis game, a team Carr faced twice every season when he was a starter in Houston.
Carr said having a bye week before facing the Super Bowl champions was part of his decision to sit out the Arizona game.
But is Carr the best option for the Panthers after Testaverde’s effort? Fox remained mum on the subject Wednesday, while a few lockers down from Carr, Testaverde insisted he’d be fine in either role.
Testaverde has been bombarded with interview requests since he became the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history to win a game. It set off an unlikely quarterback quandary for the Panthers, who lost starter Jake Delhomme to a season-ending elbow injury last week.
Testaverde was forced into duty because of Carr’s back injury that he got in the win in New Orleans on Oct. 7. Carr said he’s still suffering back spasms, and the four-hour flights to and from Phoenix caused him trouble.
Testaverde, who threw for 206 yards, including the go-ahead 65-yard touchdown pass to Smith in the fourth quarter, helped the Panthers improve to 4-2. Carr, who like Testaverde was the No. 1 pick in the draft — 15 years later — joined the chorus of people impressed with what Testaverde accomplished.
Now the question for Fox is, will Testaverde or Carr give them the best chance to be competitive when they’ll be big underdogs in two weeks against the Colts?
Carr wouldn’t be drawn into the controversy Wednesday.