With a big smile on his face, just like that Vinny is back in the NFL.
43-year-old Vinny Testaverde on Wednesday signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, becoming the backup to current starter David Carr. Vinny comes to the team following the placing of QB Jake Delhomme on the injured reserved list. Testaverde is so old (by NFL standards that is) that as he practiced with the Panthers on Wednesday players were calling him “Dad.”
As far as the decision to pick up Vinny, GM Marty Hurney gave simple reasoning. “We decided he was our best option,” Hurney said. “He brings experience. He throws the ball extremely well. He’s a fierce competitor. It seems like he’ll be an extremely good fit for us.”
Testaverde could be seeing live NFL action sooner than he thinks. Carr suffered a back injury in the Panthers win at New Orleans on Sunday, and missed practice on Wednesday, making it possibility that Vinny could be starting Sunday when the Panthers travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals.
“Both mentally and physically,” coach John Fox said. “He’s a guy we were fortunate enough to find at this point in the season.” Vinny says he’s not concerned about the system that the Panthers play in. “I know the system they run here,” Testaverde said. “For someone with my experience it is easier than say a younger player coming in and trying to learn the system.”
Vinny ranks sixth in NFL history 6,529 pass attempts, 3,693 completions and 45,281 yards passing. He’s ninth with 270 touchdown passes and tied for 10th with 30 300-yard passing games.