Wednesday Notes

The Carolina Panthers are ecstatic that Stephen Davis' surgically repaired right knee is holding up to the pounding that comes with NFL regular-season games. Davis has carried the ball 38 times over the past two weeks, 25 of them in Sunday's 27-17 win over New England, and has already scored four touchdowns.

Backup DeShaun Foster has 16 carries this season.

"You didn't see earth-shattering numbers from Stephen (77 yards rushing), but New England has a good defense," coach John Fox said. "But I thought DeShaun and Stephen both ran the ball well and we were consistent all day."

Fox said the Panthers will continue to monitor Davis' number of carries, but seemed to indicate the Panthers will ride Davis as long as he can carry them.

So while Foster actually started Sunday's game, Davis will continue to get the vast majority of carries for the Panthers.

"It's something we try to monitor," Fox said. "But at the end of the day you have to do what it takes to win on any given Sunday. The reality is it's a tough, physical game. We monitor as best we can."


--QB Jake Delhomme has not played well yet for the Panthers this season. On Sunday, his play was erratic and included an interception that was returned for a touchdown and briefly got the Patriots back into the game.

--QB Chris Weinke will be the team's No. 2 quarterback again this week behind Jake Delhomme. He has not played in a regular season game since 2002.

--RB Stephen Davis looked has looked very solid this season, scoring four touchdowns from close in and running hard. His four rushing TDs lead the NFL this season.

--RB DeShaun Foster, despite his backup status, is 30th in the NFL in rushing with 78 yards on 16 carries. He is doing just fine as Stephen Davis' backup, averaging 4.9 yards per carry in that role.

--RB Nick Goings hasn't seen much action in the backfield, although he has technically started the last two games.

--WR Steve Smith was slowed last week by the Patriots, but should return to top form on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He could face his old Super Bowl teammate in CB Reggie Howard.

--WR Keary Colbert has had a very disappointing start to the season. After catching just two passes for 11 yards in the season opener, Colbert had no catches last week against the Patriots.

--WR Ricky Proehl stepped up with a strong game against the Patriots that included a 41-yard reception to set up a touchdown. Overall, Proehl had three catches for 63 yards.

--WR Rod Gardner was active for the Patriots game but did not catch a pass. In fact, he only played a few snaps.

--TE Kris Mangum made a great run after a catch against New England, ending it with a leaping karate-style kick to the chest of Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel.

--TE Mike Seidman seems to be relegated to a blocker in Carolina's offense.

--TE Michael Gaines was inactive Sunday.

--PK John Kasay continued to show good leg and is now 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, hitting from 52, 51, 46 and 39 yards. The two 50-yarders against the Patriots were big kicks because had he not made them the Patriots would have gotten great field position.

--PR Steve Smith was outstanding on punt returns last week and had one 76-yard touchdown return called back.

--PR Chris Gamble had a 76-yard punt return filling in for Steve Smith that led to a Carolina TD.

--KR Rod Smart still needs to show more spark in the return game.

--DE Mike Rucker came up with a huge sack against the Patriots, forcing a Tom Brady fumble that led to a big touchdown and gave Carolina a 10-point lead. At the time, the Patriots were only down by 3 and had the momentum.

--DT Jordan Carstens played extremely well this past Sunday in place of Kris Jenkins as the Panthers held the Patriots to just 39 yards rushing.

--DT Kindal Moorehead also saw action on Sunday with Kris Jenkins out. He will be Jordan Carstens' backup.

--CB Ken Lucas showed he can be a shutdown corner with a great game against New England that included 10 tackles, most of those in run support.

--LB Will Witherspoon mad a diving interception on a Tom Brady pass that led to a Carolina field goal.

--FS Thomas Davis was benched on Sunday for veteran Marlon McCree and it's unlikely he will get back in the starting lineup for quite awhile. He will see action at linebacker and did have a sack on Sunday.

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