CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers are alone atop the NFC but worked extra to get there Monday night, defeating the Colts 29-26 in overtime after allowing Indianapolis to rally from 23-6 down in the fourth quarter to force OT.
Graham Gano, the former Florida State kicker who missed an extra point after Carolina's last touchdown in regulation, hit a 42-yard field goal to answer Adam Vinatieri's kick for the Colts on the first drive in overtime. Then, after Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted a tipped pass by Andrew Luck on the second Colts drive of OT, Gano hit a 52-yarder to end it.
Carolina stayed unbeaten at 7-0. The Colts are 3-5 — 3-0 inside the AFC South and 0-5 outside the division.
Lockette surgery: Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette had surgery to stabilize ligaments in his neck, a day after being taken off the field on a backboard during Seattle's game at Dallas. Lockette had surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The Seahawks said the surgery was a success and that all neurological signs were positive. Lockette is expected to stay in the hospital for a few days but could be up and moving around today. Lockette, 29, is out for the season. He posted on Twitter on Monday morning thanking fans, teammates and his family for their support and saying: "Can't wait (to) get back with my teammates in Seattle." He was injured on punt coverage; he appeared to be engaged with a Cowboys player before he turned and was hit by safety Jeff Heath.
JPP back Sunday?: The Giants are going to push Jason Pierre-Paul more in practice this week to test his conditioning, and the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end could play Sunday against the Bucs — at Raymond James Stadium, on the field where he starred in college at USF — for the first time since losing a finger in a July 4 fireworks accident.
Gabbert in for 49ers: Blaine Gabbert will replace Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback for the 49ers in Sunday's game against the Falcons, nfl.com and ESPN reported. Coach Jim Tomsula was noncommittal about Kaepernick's status earlier Monday, as was the case after Sunday's 27-6 loss at St. Louis.
Bell on IR: Pittsburgh's All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell is out for the season with a knee injury. Bell's right knee bent under him at an awkward angle while he was brought down by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the second quarter on Sunday. Veteran DeAngelo Williams, who started the first two games this season for the Steelers when Bell was suspended, will take over again.
Flex moves: The Nov. 22 Bengals-Cardinals matchup will move into prime time on NBC (Ch. 8), part of a shuffle of flex scheduling. Also that day, the Chiefs-Chargers matchup will move from 8:30 p.m. to 4:05 and Packers-Vikings will move from 1 to 4:25. On Nov. 15, Bears-Rams will move from Fox to CBS (Ch. 10); this is the second season the league can "cross-flex" some Sunday games between networks.
Broncos get TE Davis: The Broncos acquired two-time Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis from the 49ers. The 49ers will get sixth-round picks in 2016 and 2017 and the Broncos get a seventh-round pick in 2016.
Chargers: Receiver Keenan Allen has a kidney injury and will miss an undetermined amount of time, coach Mike McCoy said.
Ravens: As expected, Steve Smith is out for the season with a torn right Achilles tendon. Smith, 36, said in August that he will retire after this season, but coach John Harbaugh said he'd like to have Smith back if the 15-year veteran changes his mind.