Two QB's again in '07?

Don't be surprised if the Carolina Panthers keep just two quarterbacks on the roster this season. The Panthers placed third-string quarterback Brett Basanez on injured reserve Sunday with a severely sprained right wrist. The injury occurred when he was sacked in the fourth quarter of Friday night's 24-7 preseason loss to the New England Patriots.

Basanez, who spent most of last season on the practice squad and is well-liked by the coaching staff, figured to have a good shot at making the team as the No. 3 quarterback behind Jake Delhomme and David Carr.

"You never like losing a quarterback, no matter what string," coach John Fox said. "But Brett has made good progress. We kept him around last year and I thought he grew quite a bit. It's unfortunate."

It's unclear if the Panthers will consider signing a free agent or keep undrafted rookie Dalton Bell, the other quarterback still on the roster. There's a good chance Fox will keep just two and attempt to re-sign Bell to the practice squad once he clears waivers.

"I hate commenting on the unknown," Fox said. "But we are always looking to improve our team. If someone comes available that we like, that's an option. If not, Dalton Bell has shown some good work."

Basanez said he's trying to stay positive despite an injury that comes at the worst possible time for him. He would have seen extensive playing time in Carolina's preseason finale Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I just want to be positive," Basanez said. "What is the worst that can happen -- I will get to learn from a Pro Bowler and a first-rounder this season?"

Basanez spent most of last season on the practice squad after the Panthers decided to keep just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. However, he was called up late in the season following an injury to Delhomme and saw action in one game, completing six of 11 passes for 56 yards with one interception.

The Panthers were excited about Basanez's progress this off-season and praised his work in the film room.

"It's going to be devastating in the fact that you're not out there sweating with them, you're not doing scout team (in practice) you're not trying to help the team get better on the field," said Basanez, an undrafted rookie in 2006 from Northwestern.

Right now, his plan now is to help the team in any way he can.

"I can get in the film room with Jake," Basanez said. "I don't know if I'm going to travel to away games or not, but at home games they can have an extra set of eyes.

"I can focus on helping them get better while getting better myself because I can learn from their mistakes and learn from they are looking at. So whatever way you cut it, I'm going to try to make it a good situation. I'm just going to keep getting better without practicing."

In other moves, the Panthers released guard Nate Bennett, defensive tackle Brent Curvey, defensive back Kevin Garrett, receiver Jahkeen Gilmore, tackle Eric Graham, safety Jermaine Hardy and defensive tackle Chad Lavalais. They need to make four more roster moves by 4 p.m. Tuesday to get down to 75.

Final cuts are Saturday.

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