NFC South: Keith Null

Checking injuries that matter most

November, 25, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- I'll be covering the game between the Saints and Cowboys later this afternoon. But the other three NFC South teams issued their Thursday injury reports early.

So let's take a look at the injuries that matter most elsewhere in the division.

Panthers. Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen practiced for the second straight day as he attempts to come back from a concussion. But coach John Fox wouldn't say for certain if Clausen will play, or start, Sunday against Cleveland. If Clausen is healthy, he almost certainly will start because Brian St. Pierre was limited in practice for the second straight day. The only other options are rookie Tony Pike and practice-squad player Keith Null, who joined the team earlier this week.

Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is very healthy as it gets ready for Sunday's game at Baltimore. Defensive end Kyle Moore was the only player who didn't participate in Thursday's practice.

Falcons. Defensive end John Abraham, who sat out with a groin injury last week, practiced on a limited basis. Receiver Roddy White (knee) also was limited.

Another QB in Carolina

November, 23, 2010
We generally don’t report every practice-squad transaction. But we’re going to make an exception today because this one involves a quarterback and the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers reportedly will sign Keith Null to the practice squad. That’s significant because, the way things have gone at quarterback for Carolina this year, Null could be starting before long.

Null could be brought up to the regular roster this week if Jimmy Clausen isn’t cleared to return from a concussion. The Panthers started Brian St. Pierre ahead of rookie Tony Pike on Sunday.

Fox hasn’t named a starter yet for Sunday’s game with Cleveland and is probably waiting for word on Clausen before making that decision. Null started four games for the St. Louis Rams last season.
Remember early in the Josh Freeman era, when everyone was talking about how well the Tampa Bay rookie quarterback was playing out of the shotgun formation?

Well, that’s no longer true. Not even close. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, Freeman ranks 43rd out of the 47 quarterbacks who have thrown at least 20 passes out of the shotgun formation. His passer rating out of the shotgun is 49.0. For the record, only Keith Null, Charlie Frye, Jake Delhomme and Derek Anderson have worse ratings out of the shotgun.

In that formation, Freeman has completed 48 of 103 passes for 639 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees has a 111.8 rating out of the shotgun. That’s second only to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (112.4) Atlanta’s Matt Ryan ranks No. 17 with an 88.0 rating and Carolina’s Matt Moore, who has taken over for the injured Delhomme, is tied for No. 18 with an 86.2 rating.