CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -When Dwayne Jarrett left Southern California with a slew of school receiving records, few would have imagined his biggest honor early in his second NFL season would be getting voted player of the week - of the scout team.
But the way Jarrett acted and performed in simulating the opposition in practice last week - before spending his third straight game on the inactive list - was a milestone in his rocky maturation process.
``To watch him run and participate and not sulk was one of the most satisfying things to me,'' quarterback Jake Delhomme said.
Jarrett will now finally be on the field for more than just practice. With D.J. Hackett (knee) to miss Sunday's game at Tampa Bay and with kick returner and backup receiver Ryne Robinson (knee) placed on injured reserve this week, Jarrett will get a uniform against the Buccaneers for only the 10th time in 22 games.
nt this receiving crew to the best of my ability and try to help this team win.''
At 6-foot-4, strong and with good hands, Jarrett was projected to be a starting NFL possession receiver. After setting the Pac-10 career record with 41 touchdown catches in only three seasons, Jarrett turned pro last year at age 20.
After slipping into the second round, the Panther snatched him up. So convinced he was ready to immediately become the starter opposite Steve Smith, they released Keyshawn Johnson three days later.
But Jarrett's rookie year was a disaster. He struggled to learn the playbook. He had trouble getting free from defensive backs off the line of scrimmage.
His work ethic was questioned, too. Smith embarrassed him after practice one day by telling him to watch film instead of talking to reporters.
Jarrett was inactive in nine of the 16 games, and caught only six passes. Then he topped it off in March by getting arrested - and later pleading guilty - to driving while impaired.
``I came in just scratching 21, so coming in from college to the NFL is definitely two different lifestyles,'' Jarrett said. ``Playing wasn't, but the learning and the off the field stuff was. It came slowly but gradually and I just kept working on it.''
When Smith was suspended for the first two regular-season games, Jarrett got to play. He made a key 11-yard catch on Carolina's game-winning touchdown drive in the opener at San Diego.
``He came in (last year) and I don't think mentally he was ready for what the NFL presented to him,'' cornerback Ken Lucas said. ``This second year he came in and conducted himself like a seasoned veteran.''
But when Smith returned, Jarrett was back as the No. 4 receiver - and on the inactive list. All the work in the offseason seemingly hadn't paid off.
The old Jarrett might have started to slack off. But his teammates watched him continue to work hard - even on the scout team - and honored him for his effort last week.
``I didn't get my full opportunity, but I kept working hard,'' Jarrett said. ``And the coaches noticed it, the players.''
With Hackett out indefinitely, Jarrett becomes the No. 3 receiver behind Smith and Muhammad. After managing only eight catches in the NFL, Jarrett is getting another chance to prove he's not an NFL bust.
``Let's be honest, he was 20 years old when we drafted him,'' Delhomme said. ``He was a second round pick, I'm sure he got a good bit of money. ... You go to USC, you go three years, they win the national championship.
``You hit bumps in the road. He didn't play last year, he had a DWI, but you learn. And he has learned from it.''

Recent NFL Discussions

SUPER BOWL PLAY on Mon, Feb 2017 by MichaelF12
2017 NFL Draft Props on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Handicapping Week 1 on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Blade what time do you get up on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade
VIR- V TECH GAME on Sun, Feb 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Krik Cousins Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Kirk Cousins be playing for in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season?
Thumbnail Tony Romo Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Tony Romo play for when the 2017 NFL regular season begins? Oddsmakers have weighed in.
Thumbnail Taylor could be fit in Cleveland Could current Bills Tyrod Taylor be a fit for the quarterback-needy Browns next season?
Thumbnail Palmer, Fitz both returning for Cards The Arizona Cardinals will have their starting quarterback back for 2017, as Carson Palmer confirmed he will return to play next season.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Odds In no surprise, the Patriots are favored to win the 2018 AFC Conference Championship over the Steelers and the rest of the field.

NFL Team Pages