NOTES, QUOTES--RB Stephen Davis underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee Tuesday, a potentially career-threatening procedure. Although DeShaun Foster and the late Fred Lane both returned from microfracture surgery in the past, there are several cases of NFL players who were unable to return to their previous level of play after the operation, which involves drilling small holes in the player's kneecap.
Among those who were never right after the surgery include two former Panthers, wide receiver Patrick Jeffers and defensive end Chuck Smith, as well as former Denver Broncos star running back Terrell Davis.
"I think everybody is different," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "We just have to wait and see."
Davis turns 31 in March and has three years remaining on his current contract with the Panthers. He was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, ending his season with just 92 yards rushing.
Hurney said the hope is Davis will follow the same rehabilitation path as Foster, who underwent microfracture surgery in October 2002 and returned to practice the following summer for training camp. Unsure of how effective Foster would be, the Panthers signed Davis before the 2003 season, a move that allowed them to bring Davis along slowly last season.
"We haven't talked about a timetable at this point," Hurney said. "It's a thing that will take awhile. It will be a process that takes several months, maybe longer. But Stephen is a guy who is very competitive, and he has great drive and determination."
--P Todd Sauerbrun succeeded in his quest to keep Bill Gramatica off the team's roster but was unable to convince the team to give him a chance to continue on as the team's kicker.
With No. 1 kicker John Kasay listed as questionable with a calf injury, the Panthers signed Jeff Chandler to the practice squad in the event Kasay can't play this week against Arizona.
And that's fine with Sauerbrun.
But the three-time Pro Bowl punter said he would have been fired up had the Panthers signed Gramatica instead. Sauerbrun has engaged in a war or words with the entire Gramatica family in the past, including Martin, who plays for Tampa Bay, and Bill, who formerly played for Arizona, and even their youngest brother, Santiago, who played at Central Florida and orally harassed Sauerbrun following one game in Tampa.
When the Panthers approached Sauerbrun about the possibility of bringing in Bill Gramatica for a tryout, he did his best to shoot down the idea.
"Yeah, they said he's a candidate, but we wouldn't do that," Sauerbrun said. "We don't want to create problems in the locker room. I said, 'That's a great idea. I agree with you. Thank you very much for thinking of me.' "
Once again, Sauerbrun didn't hide his hatred for the Gramatica family.
"I don't want to get along with him," Sauerbrun said. "He's a stereotype kicker just like the rest of his brothers are, and that's all he'll ever be and there's no place for him here, I don't think."
Sauerbrun filled in nicely for Kasay on Sunday, converting four extra points and a 34-yard field goal in a 37-27 win over San Francisco.
But the Panthers don't believe Sauerbrun is consistent enough in that area to be a long-term solution, which is why they signed Chandler.
Sauerbrun admitted he'd have liked to have a shot at the kicking job but said that first the Panthers would have had to pay him back the approximately $40,000 they've fined him this season for being overweight.
"I definitely would have liked to do it, but we'd have to come to agreement about something because I've been fined a lot this year," Sauerbrun said. "If we were able to work something out, get some of my fine money back. ...
"That's the only reason I was adamant about not doing it. I'd love to do it, but they'd have to give me some of that fine money back."
Sauerbrun is not only angry at the Panthers for the fines, but also at himself for being unable to stay under his required 217 pounds.
"It's my fault, but I don't agree on it," Sauerbrun said. "It's my fault. But it just gets so annoying getting that letter every week in your mailbox."
However, it was Sauerbrun who agreed to the 217-pound weight limit in the offseason.
"I did agree on it, so it's completely my fault," he said. "That's why I'm not complaining about it because it is my fault and I agreed on it."
-- The Panthers put Running Back Joey Harris on the Injured Reserve on Friday, making 14 players, 4 of which are running backs, on the injured reserve. With Harris out, the only healthy running backs on the team are Brandon Bennet and Jamal Robertson; who have 1 carry combined in a panthers uniform.
BY THE NUMBERS: 34 -- Number of points the Panthers scored in the second half of Sunday's win over San Francisco.
4 -- Number of sacks by Julius Peppers in the last two games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'd like to think so, yeah. I need more great years before I can really say that. I want to put together four or five more Pro Bowls. If I do that, then I will say I've reached the top. I can't even compare the kickers and punters today to years back because of those new kicking balls. I mean, I've got to wear a glove just to catch those damn things now. Back then, they were kicking those rugby balls. I'm sorry, I can't even compare those guys with how strong the guys are today. Because if we had those balls back that they were kicking, you couldn't even classify any of those guys in our categories at all." -- Panthers three-time Pro Bowler Todd Sauerbrun on whether he thinks he's the best punter of all time.