Plant QB Phillip Ely's back improving as title game draws near

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Thu. December 16, 2010 | Adam Berry

Plant QB Phillip Ely's back improving as title game draws near

After sitting out the better part of two weeks with an injured back, it looks like Plant quarterback Phillip Ely will return to the field Friday night.

The senior quarterback practiced with his team Wednesday, had a good therapy session Thursday morning and hopes to play Friday at 7 p.m. against the Raiders in Orlando. Panthers coach Robert Weiner said the final decision will be made during pregame warmups, once again making Ely a game-time decision.

"He's in about the same place as last week," Weiner said, referring to the Lakeland game that Ely sat out. "But we feel better about it now that he's gotten his feet wet."

Senior backup Nick Sanders started Plant's 48-6 rout of Lakeland last week, and he took all the first-team snaps earlier in the week. But Ely was back with his team Wednesday and felt better than expected Thursday morning. Weiner said he wasn't sure if Ely would be on a limited snap count, and the coaches will simply see how he feels before and during the game.

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