DETROIT — Chris Weinke was ready when Jake Delhomme was woozy.
Playing in his first game since 2002, Weinke threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl with 32 seconds left to give the Carolina Panthers a 21-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Weinke relieved Delhomme, who was knocked out of the game when he slid and was crushed by safety Kenoy Kennedy.
"You never want to see someone go down, but I've been waiting for this opportunity for three years," Weinke said.
With 2:56 left, Weinke connected with Proehl on a third-and-three from Detroit's 41 and threw the touchdown pass to the second-string receiver one play after Proehl dropped the ball in the end zone.
The 2000 Heisman Trophy winner started 15 games for the Panthers in 2001 and threw for 2,931 yards, trailing only Peyton Manning's rookie record, and was a seldom-used backup the next year.
The Lions (2-3) got the ball back at midfield with 24 seconds left, but couldn't complete a pass. On their previous possession, a first down might have sealed the victory. Instead, Carolina (4-2) won its third straight game.
The score was tied at 14 at halftime after both teams blocked a field goal.