There’s was a movie out a while back about someone’s cousin Vinny. Here’s the skinny on the Vinny coming to Carolina Panthers by way of the Associated Press and your local www.news-record.com, who I believe broke this one open locally. Vinny is almost 44, but not quite ready to shut the door on his pro football career.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) â€” Vinny Testaverde isn’t finished yet â€” even at age 43.
The Carolina Panthers, desperate for a quarterback with Jake Delhomme out for the season and David Carr banged up, signed Testaverde to a one-year deal Wednesday.
Testaverde, the No. 1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 1987 draft, practiced in his familiar No. 16 jersey Wednesday, while hearing his teammates call him “Dad” as he came up to the line of scrimmage.
“I haven’t told them yet, but I have probably forgot more football than these guys already know,” Testaverde said with a grin. “We’ll have some fun with that.”
Joining his sixth franchise, Testaverde has played in 226 games with 208 starts. He was cut by New England before the start of the season.
“We decided he was our best option,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “He brings experience. He throws the ball extremely well. He’s a fierce competitor. It seems like he’ll be an extremely good fit for us.”
Testaverde will provide insurance behind Carr, who became the Panthers’ No. 1 QB on Monday when the team announced Delhomme would have season-ending elbow surgery.
But Testaverde could be a candidate to start Sunday’s game at Arizona. Carr, who suffered a back injury in Carolina’s win over New Orleans, missed practice Wednesday.
Walking gingerly, Carr was unsure when he’ll be able to return.
“I felt like my grandpa Monday. I felt like my dad today. Hopefully I’ll feel like my 7-year-old son by Sunday,” Carr said.
Matt Moore, an undrafted rookie who played briefly Sunday when Carr was being treated, is the other quarterback on the roster. But Moore’s inexperience and the fact he was signed only last month after being cut by Dallas, could make Testaverde the better option Sunday.
Coach John Fox said he believed Testaverde could be ready to start, if needed.
“Both mentally and physically,” Fox said. “He’s a guy we were fortunate enough to find at this point in the season.”
Testaverde, who won the Heisman Trophy at Miami the same year Panthers rookie receiver Dwayne Jarrett was born, said he thinks he could know enough of the offense to start against the Cardinals.
Offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson, a former New England assistant who is four years younger than Testaverde, has put in a system similar to the Patriots’ offense. Testaverde spent last season with the Patriots.
“I know the system they run here,” Testaverde said. “For someone with my experience it is easier than say a younger player coming in and trying to learn the system.”
Delhomme was officially placed on injured reserve Wednesday to make room for Testaverde, who flew into town early Wednesday and passed a physical.
Hurney said he has no concerns with Testaverde’s age. He’ll turn 44 next month.