Testaverde is close to starting

Soon-to-be 44-year-old Vinny Testaverde has moved back into the lead in the pothole-filled race to be the Carolina Panthers' starting quarterback.


Testaverde returned to practice Wednesday after missing the Panthers' loss to Tennessee with a sore right Achilles' tendon. David Carr watched practice from the sideline, yet to be cleared after sustaining a concussion against the Titans.

Even though he split time with undrafted rookie Matt Moore and coach John Fox declined to select a starter, Testaverde sounded like the guy who will be under center Sunday against Atlanta.

"I feel great right now. Hopefully there are no setbacks, which I don't anticipate," said Testaverde, who turns 44 next week.

"I'm excited about it. I think we made the right decision in not pushing it last week."

Carr's concussion, the fifth injury to four Panthers' quarterbacks, forced the Panthers to sign former UCLA quarterback Drew Olson to the practice squad. Olson, who was cut by Baltimore in August, allowed the Panthers to have enough QBs to practice Wednesday.

BENGALS: Receiver Chris Henry allegedly was involved in an altercation with a parking attendant on the eve of rejoining the team from his eight-game suspension.

Henry practiced with the Bengals on Wednesday and will be eligible to play Sunday in Baltimore.

Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the first half of the season for violating the NFL's conduct policy.

PATRIOTS: Activated wide receiver Chad Jackson and cornerback Eddie Jackson from the physically unable to perform list, and released safety Ray Ventrone .

Chad Jackson was the team's second-round pick in the 2006 draft out of Florida and had 13 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie last season.

TITANS: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth sat out practice with a sore right hamstring.

EAGLES: Strong safety Sean Considine will miss the rest of the season after hurting his left shoulder in the loss to Dallas on Sunday night.

Quintin Mikell will replace Considine in the starting lineup.

DOLPHINS: Signed free agent defensive back Jereme Perry , and Miami placed linebacker Abraham Wright on injured reserve with a knee injury.

49ERS: Re-signed linebacker Roderick Green , bringing back a solid pass rusher who was cut in training camp.


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. --- Jonathan Babineaux expressed relief on Wednesday after he was cleared of a felony animal cruelty charge that could have sent the Atlanta Falcons' defensive tackle to prison.

"I'm just happy the whole situation is over with," Babineaux said. "It's been a long process. I've been waiting it out and it's finally over."

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Wednesday he dismissed the charges following an investigation of the death of a pit bull in February.

Pat McDonough, Babineaux's attorney, said he proved Babineaux acted only in self-defense against the aggressive dog that belonged to the player's girlfriend.

-- Associated Press


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