Weinke is in

For the once called "quarterback of the future", the future has arrived.

Charlotte, N.C. - John Fox has in the past spoken of chris weinke as the Panthers' "quarterback of the future".  The future has arrived for Weinke.  With Rodney Peete out with a knee injury, Weinke is in the starting lineup once again. 

Peete, who has started Carolina's first six games, will have surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus.  Peete has set his return date for November 10th.  This will buy Chris Weinke some time to show his skills and perhaps stake his claim for the starting quarterback position. 

Coach John Fox was asked if Peete would return to the starting quarterback position when he is healthy. 

"I don't have a policy as far as that goes.   We'll assess that one game at a time," said coach Fox.

Because of shoulder surgery, Weinke missed much of the Panthers' off-season program.  However, he did play the starting position in all four of the preseason games.  Then Weinke got a bombshell when a week before the regular season opener Rodney Peete was named as the starting quarterback. 

Weinke has been appreciative of his new chance to make a return to the field. 

"It's unfortunate that he has to have surgery," Weinke said. "You never want to have one of your guys go down and have surgery. But, being the second guy, you always have to be prepared.  Obviously, I'll have to step it up and make plays.  We're a .500 team right now and we're looking to win some games. My plan is to continue to work hard and do the things they ask me to do."

When Weinke was reduce in rank, he wasn't happy with the decision.  He was both disturbed and disenchanted, but he has used his time wisely by learning from Peete, who was assigned as his mentor.

"At that time, it was disappointing and you're frustrated," Weinke said. "But that feeling goes away very quickly and then everything focuses on the fact that I had to look at myself in the mirror and find out the things I needed to get better at.  I think I've done that the first six weeks in terms of preparation and throughout the course of the week in practice."

While Rodney Peete is out recuperating from his surgery, Randy Fasani has been elevated to the back up for the quarterback position.


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