NFL notebook

Freeman to make first start

Associated Press / October 29, 2009

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The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers have changed starting quarterbacks again, with rookie Josh Freeman taking over.

Freeman was the 17th pick in the first round of this year’s draft. He made his NFL debut last Sunday, playing two series in the fourth quarter of a 35-7 loss to the Patriots in London.

“It’s definitely something I’ve been working toward. It’s finally going to be great to get an opportunity to step out there and do something,’’ the former Kansas State standout said yesterday. “My mind-set right now is to prepare the best I can and then go out and do what I do, which is play football and try to find a way to get a win.’’

Coach Raheem Morris was noncommital about his plans after Freeman completed 2 of 4 passes for 16 yards and was sacked twice for 16 yards in losses during his brief stint against New England.

Morris officially made the change when the team practiced for the first time since returning from London.

The Buccaneers (0-7) have a bye this week, meaning Freeman will have extra time to prepare for his first start, Nov. 8 at home against Green Bay.

Freeman replaces second-year pro Josh Johnson. Johnson, a fifth-round draft pick in 2008, made four starts after former Jaguars and Falcons starter Byron Leftwich led the team the first three weeks of the season.

Fox sticks with Delhomme
A miserable seven-game stretch of 18 interceptions and three lost fumbles wasn’t bad enough for Jake Delhomme to lose his job.

Delhomme will start for Carolina Sunday against Arizona. After a couple of days to think about it, coach John Fox said he determined the beleaguered Delhomme remains the best option ahead of backups Matt Moore and A.J. Feeley.

“Going through and looking at some of our mishaps, I don’t think it’s one guy,’’ said coach John Fox. “I still think he gives us the best chance to win.’’

The Panthers gave the 34-year-old Delhomme a five-year contract extension in the offseason that includes $12 million in guaranteed money over the first three years.

Seahawks’ Jones placed on IR
Even though the Seahawks placed Walter Jones on injured reserve, ending his season and perhaps his illustrious career, the six-time All-Pro left tackle wants to attempt a return in 2010. Instead of retiring, the 35-year-old Jones said, “I still want to play.’’ He faces yet another long rehabilitation for his left knee, on which he’s had two surgeries since he last played last Thanksgiving. He may need a third surgery. Yet the anchor to Seattle’s offensive line for the last decade, said “I still love the game.’’ . . . The Redskins said tight end Chris Cooley could return to action in a month after having an operation on his broken right ankle. Cooley was injured in the first half of Washington’s loss to the Eagles Monday. The Redskins originally feared the two-time Pro Bowl selection could be sidelined for two months and might have to go on injured reserve . . . The Chiefs have suspended running back Larry Johnson until Nov. 9 for conduct detrimental to the club after he used a gay slur twice within a 24-hour period Sunday night and Monday. The team is on its bye week so Johnson will miss one game, at Jacksonville on Nov. 8 . . . Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he will announce his starting quarterback today for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Fisher has stuck with Kerry Collins as his starter all season. But the Titans are 0-6, and owner Bud Adams wants to see Vince Young start Sunday . . . Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Giants after suffering a concussion. Westbrook was knocked unconscious Monday night when he took a knee to his head in the game against the Redskins. Concerned over their lack of depth, the Eagles signed running back P.J. Hill off the Saints’ practice squad . . . Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery expects to return from his injured left hamstring and play Sunday against Miami despite being limited in practice. Cotchery was originally injured in practice three weeks ago . . . Bills quarterback Trent Edwards practiced on a limited basis for the first time since sustaining a concussion in an overtime win over Jets Oct. 18. He’s already been ruled out from playing against Houston this weekend . . . Allen Rossum will miss two to four weeks because of a hamstring injury sustained last Sunday on his first kick return with the Cowboys.

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