Football / Sports

Panthers backup QB Derek Anderson injures hand in 10-0 victory over Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson's adventures in football and fatherhood began in a delivery room Wednesday evening in Charlotte and ended in a training room at Heinz Field on Thursday night.

With starting quarterback Cam Newton on the sideline with cracked ribs, an injury to Anderson's right hand in the second quarter left the Panthers with one healthy quarterback.

Thank goodness for Joe Webb.

With Webb mostly handing the ball to Fozzy Whittaker and attempting an occasional pass, the Panthers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 10-0 and, more importantly, managed to escape without further incident or injury.

Other than that, there wasn't much to learn from an exhibition in which both teams rested eight starters and showed only a glimpse of their playbooks, mindful of their Week 3 matchup in Charlotte in game that counts.

Newton said this week he has no doubt he'll play in the Sept. 7 opener at Tampa Bay. But he was a spectator Friday. Fourth-team quarterback Matt Blanchard was out after sustaining a concussion last week.

Anderson was injured on a broken play with about nine minutes left in the second quarter.

When third-team center Brian Folkerts' high snap zipped through Anderson's hands and rolled 18 yards behind him, Anderson tried unsuccessfully to scoop the ball up. Instead, Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones ended up with the ball and Anderson ended up out of the game.

X-rays on Anderson's hand were negative. He was on the sideline with his hand wrapped for the second half.

It was an end to an eventful 28-hour stretch for Anderson, whose wife, Mallory gave birth to the couple's first child -- a daughter named Amelia -- on Thursday.

Anderson caught a commercial flight to Pittsburgh on Thursday morning, and -- based on his tweets -- was running on caffeine and adrenaline.

"Second Trenti iced coffee before 9!!" Anderson tweeted. "Lets go! Gotta find a way!"

Anderson played well before leaving. He completed 8 of 14 passes for 98 yards and led the Panthers to a field goal on their first possession.

It would have been a touchdown, but rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin couldn't hang on to Anderson's well-placed pass on a fade route in the end zone.

In addition to Newton, the Panthers gave eight other starters or regulars the night off.

The list included linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, defensive end Greg Hardy, center Ryan Kalil, running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and tight end Greg Olsen, who was back in Charlotte following his son's open-heart surgery this week.

The starting secondary was together for the first time this preseason as strong safety Roman Harper returned from turf toe to join free safety Thomas DeCoud and cornerbacks Melvin White and Antoine Cason.

But after a series, Panthers coach Ron Rivera pulled his first-team defensive backs from the game, as well.

The Steelers also sat many of their starters, most notably quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Webb, the former Minnesota quarterback who was signed as an insurance policy, completed 8 of 11 passes for 116 yards. He hit rookie Philly Brown on a 53-yard strike to set up the game's lone touchdown on Whittaker's 2-yard run.

Whittaker was a workhorse, carrying 23 times for 91 yards.

Benjamin caught four passes for 56 yards--all in the first half.

(c)2014 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

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