Clausen to start

Jimmy Clausen will start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers against the Cleveland Browns, head coach John Fox announced after practice on Friday.

Clausen was inactive last week with a concussion that he sustained on the Panthers' final series at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 14. But he practiced for the third consecutive day on Friday and has been cleared to play.

"I think he had an outstanding week of preparation," Fox said. "My understanding is he had no side effects, and we anticipate he'll be good to go on Sunday."

Carolina's rookie quarterback said he started feeling much better Monday or Tuesday and did not experience any setbacks in practice this week.

"I feel pretty good, ready to get out and get a win," Clausen said. "(I am) just trying to get back out here and get the chemistry back with the receivers and tight ends and be on the same page."

Having Clausen available will bring some clarity to what has otherwise been a position in flux for the Panthers since Matt Moore was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 9. What remains unclear, however, is who will back up Clausen.

"It's comforting to have a guy that can start the game. I'm not sure about our depth situation going into this game. We'll sort that out as we move forward," Fox said. "That will be a game-time decision."

Brian St. Pierre, who started last week versus the Baltimore Ravens, has been limited this week with a right shoulder injury. He has not been able to throw much since attempting 28 passes against the Ravens. Rookie Tony Pike also was limited this week with an injured right shoulder. Both players are listed as probable on the injury report.

Behind them is Keith Null, whom the Panthers signed to the practice squad on Tuesday. There is a chance that Null, who started the final four games of the 2009 season for the St. Louis Rams, could be promoted to the active roster on Saturday before the team departs for Cleveland.

"That's part of the game-time decision," Fox said. "That's why I don't want to venture to give you anything exact because at this point we're not exact."

Rookie wide receiver Armanti Edwards, who played quarterback in college at Appalachian State, served as the emergency third quarterback at Tampa Bay and versus Baltimore.

Running back Jonathan Stewart is probable to return to the lineup after missing the last two games because of a concussion he suffered versus the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 7. He is expected to share time in the backfield with running back Mike Goodson, who has rushed for 220 yards on 45 carries with Stewart sidelined and DeAngelo Williams on injured reserve.

"We've typically gone into games with two or three backs, and typically they all three get touches if we have three up," Fox said. "I don't see that being much different than what we've done in the past."

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