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Panthers’ Delhomme likely to start Sunday

From the Associated Press

Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme practiced again Thursday and was upgraded to a probable starter for the Panthers’ final regular-season game at New Orleans.

Delhomme has been sidelined since suffering ligament damage in his right thumb Dec. 4 against Philadelphia. The Panthers must win their game Sunday to have any chance to reach the playoffs.

Yet they could be eliminated by the time they play if the New York Giants beat Washington Saturday night.

Coach John Fox said Delhomme suffered no setbacks Wednesday after his first practice in more than three weeks. Wearing a protective glove on his throwing hand, he again worked with the first team Thursday.

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“He slung it around pretty good today,” Fox said.

Chris Weinke has struggled while filling in for Delhomme in the last three games, although Carolina (7-8) beat Atlanta, 10-3, last Sunday.

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New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey sat out practice because of a sore ankle for a second day in a row, putting his status in question for New York’s regular-season finale Saturday against Washington.

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The Pro Bowl tight end was hurt in a 30-7 loss Sunday to New Orleans.

He has been listed as questionable for the game Saturday night. Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said a decision on whether to play Shockey might be delayed until 90 minutes before kickoff.

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San Francisco 49ers receiver Antonio Bryant pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless driving and resisting arrest after he was spotted driving more than 100 mph last month.

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Bryant, 25, avoided a court appearance by filing his pleas with the San Mateo County Court clerk’s office, the district attorney’s office said.

Police said the fifth-year pro showed signs of drunkenness and became combative when they pulled over his orange Lamborghini on Highway 101 on Nov. 19. Officers said they were forced to use leather restraints to put Bryant in their car.

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Offensive tackle Leonard Davis could be playing his final game Sunday as an Arizona Cardinal.

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Davis, the No. 2 pick behind Michael Vick in the 2001 draft, acknowledged there is a fair chance he will be playing elsewhere next season.

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.

The 6-foot-6, 360-pound lineman is earning $9.1 million in the final year of the contract he signed as a rookie. Asked if he wanted to come back or felt it was time to move on, Davis said, “I don’t know. This whole thing is a business.”

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Michael Selvie, 34, was charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 16 nightclub shooting death of Willie B. Posey, the bodyguard of Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson at a nightclub.

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Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark is expected to return to play Sunday against Miami. He injured his right knee five weeks ago.


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