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Clausen to start at QB for Panthers against Bucs
Question of the Day
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The speed of the NFL and complex defenses were too much for Jimmy Clausen in his first stint as Carolina’s starting quarterback.
Coach John Fox told Clausen after practice Wednesday that he’ll start ahead of fellow rookie Tony Pike on Sunday at Tampa Bay. Taking the helm of the NFL’s worst offense for a second time, the Notre Dame product hopes to reverse ugly numbers that include one touchdown pass, four interceptions, two lost fumbles and a 48.0 passer rating.
Fox didn’t have many other options, as the Panthers (1-7) are set to become the first team in at least 20 years to have its three active QBs for a game all be rookies.
To make matter worse for a team averaging 11 points a contest, the Panthers are expected to be without injured running backs DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton against the Bucs, too.
Moore’s torn labrum in his throwing shoulder knocked him out of Sunday’s 34-3 loss to New Orleans. Clausen replaced him and had an interception returned for a touchdown and was later yanked for Pike, a sixth-round pick.
Fox hedged on who would start on Monday, but ended the suspense after Wednesday’s workout
“I didn’t have a lot of doubts about that earlier this week, but we wanted to get the guys out here practicing, see how they went about their business,” Fox said. “I thought Jimmy had an outstanding day.”
Clausen, the 48th overall pick, hasn’t played well on Sundays, though. He’s completed only 46.8 percent of his passes as his adjustment to the NFL has taken longer than expected.
“I think the biggest thing is to just try to get comfortable,” Clausen said. “The speed of the game is faster, just get comfortable with that. Get comfortable with what defenses are trying to do, what their disguises are. They are holding disguises a lot longer than in college. Just trying to understand their philosophy and get adjusted to the speed and just playing football.”
Clausen has little to work with, and an anemic offense will even be more limited Sunday.
Williams hasn’t played since Oct. 24, Stewart’s concussion was so severe he spent Sunday night in the hospital and Sutton was on crutches Wednesday. The Panthers signed Josh Vaughan and claimed Andre Brown off waivers from Indianapolis on Tuesday for depth.
Carolina’s QB depth is historically inexperienced. Rookie Armanti Edwards, a quarterback at Appalachian State who was converted to receiver, said he was the scout team QB in practice and will be the emergency No. 3 QB Sunday.
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