Basanez could step in as Carolina's backup

August, 29, 2008
8/29/08
1:17
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Basanez

The Panthers are awaiting word on backup quarterback Matt Moore after he underwent further medical tests. Early indications are he has a bruised shin. There's now an update and the Panthers are saying Moore doesn't have any broken bones. They're also saying Moore will be "day-to-day''. However, in the lingo of coach John Fox that could mean Moore's back on the practice field in a day or in three months.

This situation is cause for concern, but not panic. If Moore is out for any period of time, the Panthers might not be as bad off as some think. A lot of people forget about Brett Basanez, but the Panthers haven't. Although he missed last season with an injury, Basanez is as well-versed in Carolina's offense as anyone, including starter Jake Delhomme.

Basanez is the classic "gym rat'' and he sat in on every quarterbacks meeting last year and spends more time at the facility than any other player. He may not have great size or physical skills, but he has intangibles. Basanez might not be that much of a drop off from Moore.

Depending on Moore's medical verdict, the Panthers may have to go out and get another quarterback. But I don't see them doing anything overly dramatic. If Moore is going to be out for the short term, I can see the Panthers trying to talk Vinny Testaverde out of retirement or signing some other veteran to have as insurance.

If Moore is out for a while, Testaverde's not the answer because last year showed he can't hold up for a long stretch. The Panthers learned a lesson from that. Obviously, they're hoping Delhomme stays healthy all year and they never have to play a backup.

But, if Basanez has to fill the backup role, that's not necessarily a bad thing. If Moore is out for the entire season or a large chunk of it, look for the Panthers to bring in a young quarterback that's cut off someone else's roster and use him as the No. 3 behind Delhomme and Basanez.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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