Panthers sign former Buccaneers tackle Walker

Updated: August 13, 2007, 10:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers signed former Tampa Bay tackle Kenyatta Walker to a one-year contract on Monday, making him teammates with two players with whom he sparred in the past: Kris Jenkins and Julius Peppers.

The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Walker, who spent his first six seasons with the Buccaneers, started 73 of 75 games at right and left tackle. He hurt his knee early last season and missed the final 13 games. The Buccaneers released him in the offseason.

Walker was on the field for the Panthers' Monday evening practice but didn't take part in team drills.

"We thought it was an opportunity to get an experienced veteran in here to compete and add depth," general manager Marty Hurney said.

Walker had a running feud with Jenkins and Peppers starting in 2003, when Peppers took a swing at Walker after he claimed Walker was putting his hands inside his facemask. Jenkins at one point suggested Walker should be playing in the Canadian Football League.

In the second game between the teams that season, also a Carolina win, Walker was called for three personal fouls.

Elsewhere in the NFC:

Atlanta Falcons: Running back Warrick Dunn returned to practice for the first time since undergoing back surgery last month.

"You have to get out there, run around, get hit, run back to the huddle and run a play again," Dunn said. "I can usually go a whole series or a drive and really not get tired, but right now I can't run any plays without being exhausted."

Dunn, whose 9,461 career yards rank third among active players, hopes to return for the Falcons' third preseason game against Cincinnati on Aug. 27.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Dunn surpassed 1,000 yards last year as Atlanta led the NFL in rushing for the third straight season.

Dunn, 32, had surgery to repair a herniated disk five days before training camp began on July 26.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles played without quarterback Donovan McNabb in a 29-3 preseason loss to the Ravens on Monday night. He had surgery on a torn ligament in his right knee on Nov. 28.

Coach Andy Reid said McNabb would make his preseason debut Friday night in Philadelphia's second preseason game, at home against Carolina.

New Orleans Saints: Saints head coach Sean Payton wasn't yet ready on Monday to entirely divulge what his quarterback rotation would be in Saturday night's preseason game at Cincinnati.

He said only that he would like to see projected second-string quarterback Jamie Martin get some playing time with the first string, followed by one of the other reserves getting as much time as possible from sometime in the second quarter through the end of the game.

It likely means Drew Brees may not play more than a couple of series, if at all.

"I want to get Jamie some work this week and get some work with the first group at some point, because I think that's important," Payton said. "Then we'll see where these young guys are at with regards to our plan for the second half -- but we'll focus on one of them again like we did last week."

Rookie Tyler Palko got the majority of the action last Friday night against the Buffalo Bills after Brees played the first quarter.

This Saturday night, either Jason Fife or Matt Baker are expected to get much of the action. Fife has been with the Saints since training camp last year. He spent most of the regular season on the practice squad because Payton carried only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster so he could have an additional kicker.

Dallas Cowboys: With growing uncertainty about when or even if 10-year veteran Greg Ellis will return from a torn left Achilles' tendon, it seems ever more likely that Anthony Spencer will be a rookie starter when the Cowboys play their season opener Sept. 9 at home against the New York Giants.

"I feel like they're counting on me right now," Spencer said. "So I don't think it will change from the season to right now."

Playing the first half in the Cowboys' 23-10 preseason-opening victory over Indianapolis, Spencer got credited with only one assisted tackle. But the Colts also didn't really run Spencer's way or throw to secondary receivers that he had to cover.

Meanwhile, even though an MRI shows no problems and the team lists Ellis as day-to-day, he again worked on the side Monday. Ellis sounded pessimistic over the weekend, wondering publicly if he'd play again.

New York Giants: Backup quarterback Jared Lorenzen hurt an ankle in practice after being hit while throwing a pass. Lorenzen lay on the field for about a minute before he got up and was treated. He returned to practice a few minutes later.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin was miffed after the play because quarterbacks are not supposed to be hit during practice.

"You don't hit the quarterback and you don't hit him low," Coughlin screamed in a sentence that included a few colorful words. Lorenzen did not know who hit him, and Coughlin would not identify the culprit.

Arizona Cardinals: Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart and his ex-girlfriend have reached a custody agreement for their 10-month-old son, attorneys for both said Monday.

Details were disclosed to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rudolph A. Diaz during a closed session, the attorneys said.

"It's good through the end of the [football] season," said Leinart's attorney, Laura Wasser. "We've spoken to our client and he's pleased with it."

Ronald A. Rale, Brynn Cameron's attorney, also confirmed the accord upon leaving the courtroom.

Leinart and Cameron met as students at USC, where Leinart won the Heisman Trophy and Cameron played on the women's basketball team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.