CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Muhsin Muhammad is 36, in the final year of his contract and didn't catch his first touchdown pass of the season until last Sunday.
Yet the Panthers starting receiver -- who has spent 11 of his 14 seasons in Carolina -- vowed that Sunday's season finale against New Orleans won't mark the end of his career.
"I don't know if it will be my last game as a Panther, but I know it won't be my last game," Muhammad said Wednesday.
A two-time Pro Bowler and known as one of the NFL's top blocking receivers, Muhammad has just 46 catches for 496 yards. Lack of production by receivers other than Steve Smith has hampered the Panthers offense for much of their disappointing season.
Muhammad's 22-yard touchdown catch in Sunday's 41-9 win over the New York Giants was the first TD by a receiver other than Smith.
Muhammad said he's had no discussions with team officials about a new contract, but is hopeful he can return in 2010.
"I would love to stay and play," Muhammad said. "We'll see what happens."
The Panthers' second-round pick in 1996, Muhammad made the Pro Bowl in 1999 and later paired with Smith in Carolina's Super Bowl season in 2003. He became Carolina's top receiving target in 2004 when Smith was injured and made the Pro Bowl, only to be released in a salary-cap move when the two sides couldn't work out a new contract agreement.
Muhammad signed with Chicago and spent three years with the Bears, where his numbers steadily declined. He was released after catching only 40 passes in 2007.
The Panthers, who had failed to find a physical, blocking receiver to replace him, re-signed Muhammad to a two-year deal in 2008. He started last season and caught 65 passes for 923 yards and five touchdowns.
Muhammad remained a starter this year, but his numbers are down. Despite his age, the 6-foot-2 Muhammad remains in top shape, although there are questions if his already questionable speed has worsened and prevented him from getting open much of the season.
But Muhammad, who joked he "just had the tires rotated, they're good to go" wants to play in 2010 -- hopefully in Carolina.
"If you love to play this game, if you love to play football, then that's what you do," Muhammad said, "you just go play ball."
- Muhammad (ankle) was one of six players to miss practice Wednesday DeAngelo Williams (ankle), Jonathan Stewart (Achilles') and Tyrell Sutton (ankle), RT Geoff Schwartz and CB Richard Marshall (ankle) were also sidelined.
- QB Matt Moore (rib) was limited.
- Panthers coach John Fox said WR Steve Smith, LB Jon Beason and C Ryan Kalil are second alternates for the Pro Bowl.
- Beason was voted the NFC defensive player of the week after recording 13 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble against the Giants.
- The team has yet to place Smith (broken arm) on injured reserve and fill his roster spot.