The Carolina Panthers' miserable season took an even darker twist Monday when tests revealed starting quarterback Matt Moore has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and will require season-ending surgery.
Moore was injured when Sedrick Ellis drove his right shoulder into the turf on a sack in the second quarter of New Orleans' 34-3 rout on Sunday. In the last year of his contract, Moore may have played his last game in Carolina.
Coach John Fox's reluctance to commit to struggling Jimmy Clausen over fellow rookie Tony Pike as Moore's replacement further illustrated his predicament as the Panthers (1-7) flirt with being one of the lowest-scoring teams in NFL history.
"The two quarterbacks on the roster, we'll take a look at them this week and decide who gives us the best chance to win," Fox said.
Moore's injury is part of a stunning fall after he finished 4-1 as a replacement last season, leading to Carolina's decision to release seven-year starter Jake Delhomme. Moore, who will undergo surgery within a couple of weeks, threw five touchdowns and 10 interceptions, lost two fumbles and had a passer rating of 55.6.
Dolphins' coach wants spitting incident investigated
Miami Dolphins Coach Tony Sparano said he wants the NFL to investigate the Dolphins' complaint that Baltimore Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain spit in the face of linebacker Channing Crowder.
McClain denied spitting intentionally, and Ravens Coach John Harbaugh absolved his player of wrongdoing. But a video replay from WFOR-TV in Miami appeared to confirm the incident, and Sparano said he verified it.
"I have enough evidence," Sparano said. "It's upsetting to me."
Crowder didn't talk to reporters Monday, one day after a disappointing 26-10 loss at Baltimore dropped the inconsistent Dolphins to 4-4. McClain conceded saliva flew, but only accidentally.
Stafford's status is unknown
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is recovering from another right shoulder injury and his playing status is unknown.
Stafford was hurt near the end of the Lions' 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. Coach Jim Schwartz said Monday it's too early to tell the severity of the injury.
Stafford separated the same shoulder in the season opener and missed the next five games.