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Foxhole: Panthers get three back


Comments from Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox following the team's practice.

On injuries: Did not participate - Chris Gamble (personal), Marcus Hudson (ankle), Captain Munnerlyn (shoulder), Jordan Pugh (hamstring), Tyrell Sutton (ankle) and Travelle Wharton (toe). Limited participation - Tony Pike (arm) and Brian St. Pierre (arm). Full participation - Jimmy Clausen (concussion), Brandon LaFell (concussion) and Jonathan Stewart (concussion).

On if Jimmy Clausen's return to practice means he is the starting quarterback: Right now we're evaluating it. It's a day-to-day deal as far as evaluation, not just on ability and all that stuff, but just on his injury.

On if Clausen will start against the Cleveland Browns if he continues to progress: I think that would be safe to assume.

On how Clausen looked in practice: I thought he zipped the ball around pretty good and thought he had a good practice.

On if there is a different set of tests that Clausen has to pass to be cleared to play in the game: It's an ongoing evaluation but it was good to see that he was out there practicing today.

On having Clausen, running back Jonathan Stewart and wide receiver Brandon LaFell all back at practice: You figure all three guys were starters before they got their concussions, so I think it would be safe to say it was nice to see all three of them back.

On how Stewart looked in practice: We practiced. We weren't in pads and didn't have any goal line or short yardage scrimmages. Trying to see him get through and exercise and the movement, just get back used to playing football again, too. I thought he did good.

On the plan for quarterback Keith Null: Right now he's a practice squad player. I watched him practice today for the first time and was impressed.

On when quarterback Tony Pike was injured: Sometime between Sunday and today.

On if he expects Jake Delhomme to start at quarterback for the Browns: It's hard to say. We're waiting to see what their practice participation looks like. I know we'll see one of three guys - either (Colt) McCoy, Seneca (Wallace) or Jake.

On if it is easier or harder to plan for the Browns if Delhomme is the starting quarterback: I don't think it makes it easier or harder no matter which one of them plays. They've all started; they've all played; and they all have different strengths and weaknesses.

On what it will be like playing against a former player: We've had a lot of those games this year. This wouldn't be the first one. Jake knows how I feel about him. He has a lot of friends on this team. Much like some of the former players we've played against this season, you build relationships, friendships. It's still a profession and you're trying to win, not that you wish them all the best, but I don't think anybody wishes any harm or anything like that. They're good friends.

On Browns wide receiver Joshua Cribbs: He's another guy we'll be watching closely on his participation. He did not play last week. Obviously, he's a dynamic playmaker at the receiver position as well as they utilize him in some Wildcat run offense.

On what impresses him about the Browns: They went out and signed a bunch of free agents in the offseason - some veteran guys that have been in winning programs, a couple we were familiar with because of competing against them. Again, they have lost their share of close games. They've had some injuries at the quarterback position; that's never helpful. But they're a solid team. They're a run-first offense. (Peyton) Hillis, their running back, is an outstanding runner - both running and after the catch. I think their defense has created a lot of turnovers and given them opportunities in games.

On his Thanksgiving message: We're all blessed, and having a job in this league is a blessing. Having this opportunity, I know a lot of people would enjoy to do that. So at the end of the day, one man's ceiling is another man's floor, and we've got a lot of things to be thankful for.

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