Moore optimistic about playing

CHARLOTTE – Starting quarterback Matt Moore practiced Wednesday following what he termed to be a mild concussion suffered in last Sunday's loss at the New York Giants.

Moore didn't speculate about his status for Sunday's home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though there are reasons for optimism.

The Panthers listed Moore as having limited participation in practice -- meaning he didn't take part in 100 percent of his normal repetitions -- but he didn't miss a day of practice (the Panthers didn't practice Monday or Tuesday).

Also, the NFL's recently adopted "return-to-play following concussions" standards don't allow a player to practice unless he has been cleared by both team doctors and an independent neurological consultant.

"I felt good today," Moore said. "We'll wait and see what the doctors say or whatever, but I felt really good.

"I had to do some things, pass some tests. Our training staff here does a good job. They've constantly been on a program you have to do in a situation like this, and that's what I've been doing."

Moore left the game after Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora hit him from behind with less than three minutes remaining. Moore, however, said he actually got hurt on the final play of the Panthers' previous possession, when a sack by defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka resulted in Moore's helmet bouncing off the turf.

"The second play really just emphasized that something wasn't right," Moore said. "I felt all right (after the first hit), but I think the hit from behind triggered something.

"I felt obviously the worst right after it happened, felt a little nauseous. Then after that, it cleared up quickly. I got some rest, and here I am."

Moore said he didn't suffer any memory loss ("I remember the long ride to the hospital and the cold ambulance," he said), though there are some aspects of the opener that he'd like to put out of his mind.

Moore's 32.6 quarterback rating Sunday was the lowest among the 33 NFL quarterbacks who qualified by attempting 14 or more passes in Week 1. The Giants picked off Moore three times in their end zone, and Moore lost a fumble on the first play that shook him up and then fumbled in his own end zone on the final hit.

"It was all right. It needs to be a little better," said Moore, who did connect with Steve Smith for a 19-yard touchdown. "We've got a bunch more weeks to get better."

The Panthers hope Moore is a part of the improvement sooner rather than later.

"It was great to see Matt out there today," running back DeAngelo Williams said. "It was great seeing him back in the huddle, seeing No. 3 back there running around. We asked him if he was OK, and he said he was fine.

"He's a warrior."

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