In just the sort of twist any good scriptwriter would love, it looks like Jake Delhomme will start Sunday at 1 p.m. for Cleveland in the Browns' home game against Carolina.
For the Panthers, meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen was back at practice today and will be the starter barring a setback. Last week's starter Brian St. Pierre still has a very sore shoulder -- he hurt it on the 88-yard TD pass to David Gettis Sunday, he said -- and so Tony Pike will likely be the No.2 QB for Carolina.
Delhomme, the QB for Carolina from 2003-09, has only started one game for his new Cleveland team -- the Sept.12 opener. He got a high ankle sprain in that one and by the time he returned, rookie QB Colt McCoy was playing well. Delhomme admitted he thought at times maybe he had played his last down because McCoy was doing so well.
Delhomme had a conference call with Charlotte-area media Wednesday and said it was "ironic" that his second start for the Browns will quite likely be against Carolina.
Delhomme, who went 58-40 as a starter for Carolina (including 5-3 in the postseason), also said he had remained close to several in the Panthers organization, most notably Jordan Gross, Jeff King and Matt Moore. He said he harbored no animosity toward the Panthers and that he considered the way they released him after last season a classy way to be fired.
McCoy has a high ankle sprain and is out at least for this week and likely for several more. Cleveland coach Eric Mangini said today he was "leaning" toward starting Delhomme due to Jake's familiarity with the Panthers. Seneca Wallace -- who has also had a high ankle sprain this season, making Browns QBs 3-for-3 with the injury -- would be the other option.
If Jake starts, that just made a game between a 1-9 Panther squad and a 3-7 Cleveland team a lot more interesting.