CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Quarterback Vinny Testaverde is probable for the Panthers' game Sunday against San Francisco after making it through an entire week of practice.
Coach John Fox remains a little nervous.
``Our hopes are high,'' Fox said Friday with a cautious laugh. ``Out of respect for our (quarterback) situation, I will wait and see. This is not being coy. This time last week I said Vinny looked good - and then there was Saturday.''
That's when Testaverde, after a week of working with the first team in practice, woke up with a bad back. Trainers and chiropractors couldn't get him ready for Sunday's important game against New Orleans, and the Panthers were forced to go with David Carr. He struggled again in the Panthers' 31-6 loss at home.
Even though Testaverde didn't show signs of a relapse Friday, Fox listed him as probable for Sunday's game, which could be Carolina's best chance to snap a 13-month home winless streak.
Testaverde said Thursday he believes the spasms and muscle pull in his lower back were related to the boot he's been wearing to protect his strained right Achilles tendon.
``All of that walking in a boot kept me from putting any pressure on that foot, and I was compensating,'' the 44-year-old quarterback said. ``It kind of throws your back out of whack.
``So I've just continued to get treatment and do the things I've been doing all along and tried to walk as normal as possible.''
He said his Achilles tendon is a nagging problem but hasn't flared up.
Testaverde tried to pace himself this week, but the Panthers will be holding their breath until Sunday morning.
``I go into practice and try to take the reps I feel I need,'' Testaverde said. ``I try not to overdo it and stay as close to 100 percent as possible for the games. There's a fine line there. You don't want to do too little and not get your work done, and you don't want to do too much and hurt yourself.''
That may prove beneficial for rookie Matt Moore.
``I think that's good for Matt now, because he can go in there and get some reps where normally a backup guy wouldn't get that many,'' Testaverde said.
As a team, the Panthers come into this week's game fairly healthy. Starting cornerback Chris Gamble is back, and the only player who may miss the game is No. 4 receiver Dwayne Jarrett, who is doubtful with a knee injury.
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