STAN OLSON

Staff Writer


With talk growing about the Carolina Panthers' revived playoff chances, quarterback Jake Delhomme offered a little perspective.

"We're still just 5-7; we've got a long way to go," he said Wednesday. "I've said, 'Maybe the week of (Jan. 1); if we can still be winning and there's a possibility, we'll talk about it.' "

Then someone asked if Sunday's home meeting with St. Louis would be Carolina's biggest game of the season.

"I want to say yeah, but when we played San Diego, that was a big game, because we needed the next win," Delhomme said. "... If you win in December, you give yourself a chance."

'A cheap shot'

Kemp Rasmussen was in the kickoff return wedge Sunday when he collided with the Saints' Steve Gleason.

"I knocked him down and I was standing over him," Rasmussen said. "I guess he was just frustrated. I didn't say anything to him. As he got up he just hit me down low."

The punch to the groin got Gleason ejected.

"I thought it was a cheap shot," Rasmussen said. "I would never do that."

Gleason was fined $5,000 by the NFL. He said he felt the Panthers continued to block him after the play.

Holt's support

St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt is a good buddy of Seattle wideout Koren Robinson. Both were stars at N.C. State. Holt said he's been in touch with Robinson, who was suspended for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

"I just told him to hang in there and keep his head up," Holt said. "I told him if there was anything I could do to help him, if he wanted to bounce anything off of me, I'm here to help and support him as much as I possibly can."

Toys for Tots

The Panthers will host the 8th Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots drive Sunday. Reserves will collect new, unwrapped toys for at-need children in the region at 20 points at entry gates from 2 p.m. through the first quarter.

Notes

• Linebacker Dan Morgan, who has missed three games recovering from his second concussion of the season, practiced. He is listed as questionable on the injury report.

Three others listed as questionable didn't practice, defensive tackle Brentson Buckner (knee), offensive tackle Todd Fordham (ankle) and punter Todd Sauerbrun (quadriceps).

• Kicker John Kasay has been named the NFC's special teams player of the week after his six field goals Sunday.