"They're both fine young players and we'll evaluate that moving forward," Fox said Monday when asked who'll start Sunday against Tampa Bay after Matt Moore was placed on injured reserve.
Fox said he'll decide later in the week if he'll go with Clausen or Pike.
After Sunday's 34-3 loss to New Orleans and well before he knew the extent of Moore's season-ending injury, Fox said he expected Moore to remain the starter if healthy, saying, "He can operate our offense the best of the quarterbacks, unless we decide to go with the wishbone or some kind of option offense."
Moving forward Fox is stuck with three rookies -- Clausen, Pike and wide receiver Armanti Edwards -- who can play quarterback but did so in an option offense at Appalachian State. The team was planning to bring in second-year quarterback Keith Null for a workout on Tuesday and might sign him to be the No. 3 quarterback. He started four games for St. Louis last season.
Even if the Panthers do bring in a free agent Fox said it's unlikely he'd see much playing time at this point in the season because he'd be so unfamiliar with the offense.
Clausen has more experience than Pike, but he hasn't done much with his opportunities. He's 0-3 as a starter and has thrown one touchdown and four interceptions, been sacked 11 times and fumbled seven times, turning it over twice. He has a quarterback rating of 48.
There has been a growing sense that Clausen has regressed and Fox has lost faith in him after benching him twice during games and once during the week in the first half of the season.
"I don't think he's regressed," Fox said. "There's no question we've struggled offensively.
"A lot of it is who you play and when you play them. It's just a position on offense where we've struggled. We need to execute better. I don't think it's so much physical as it is we're just out of sorts a little bit, whether it be somebody seeing a hot read, turning the protection the right way, throwing the ball accurately - a variety of things that have occurred to us offensively, and not just at the quarterback position."
Pike saw his first action in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and didn't exactly light it up either, completing 6 of 12 passes for 47 yards while failing to lead a scoring drive.
Fox described Pike's play as "not so good."
"It's a position on offense where we have struggled," Fox said of the quarterback position. "I don't think it's so much physical as it is we're out of sorts a little bit whether it be somebody seeing a hot read, turning the protection the right way or throwing the ball accurately."
--Linebacker Dan Connor, who has played well in his first opportunity as a starter, will need surgery to repair a crack in his hip, Fox said.
In the meantime, Jon Beason will move back to more his familiar -- and productive -- position at middle linebacker.
Fox said the team would give Jordan Senn and newcomer Jason Williams a look at weak-side linebacker, but also indicated the team would look to add help in free agency at that position. After Connor went down in the game, the Panthers used Nic Harris at middle linebacker, and Fox said he did "OK considering the situation."
--Pike made his NFL debut, entering the game in the fourth quarter. He was 6-for-12 for 47 yards and was sacked once.
Sadly, that leaves him with the team's highest passer rating (60.1) for the season.
"Anytime you're able to get in to the game, you're going to be excited about it and relish the opportunity," Pike said. "I certainly am. I need to do everything I can to make sure if this situation happens again that we get better results, but as far as being out there, it's a little different than being on the scout team.
"I was just trying to get on the same page as the other guys. Sitting there as the third-string quarterback, you barely get any reps as a second-stringer, and for me, I just had to speed up the game and get on the same page."
--Steve Smith was limited to one catch for nine yards, which came in the final minute of the game.
Smith had a 27-yard reception called back because of offensive pass interference.
"Their defense has a little bit to do with that," Fox said. "They double him at times. ... We had a lot of issues today. We had a lot of penalties go against us that were big plays for them. We didn't execute very well. We turned it over, one for a touchdown."
--Jon Beason said he expects to be fined by NFL after drawing a penalty for a hit to defenseless Saints receiver Marques Colston in the second half. Beason said he didn't mean to do it and was just trying to play hard. Still, he led with his forearm into Colston's helmet.
"You know what, it will just be the cherry on top of everything," Beason said sarcastically of possibly being fined after a 34-3 loss. "You live with it. At the end of the day, I'm not going to pull up and stop how I play. My job is to stop people, and that is why I'm here at the highest level."
The NFL has threatened to suspend players for hits to defenseless receivers, but Beason thinks that would be over the top.
"I don't anticipate it, but if they did, I would be highly upset and I'd let people know," Beason said.
--Cornerback Richard Marshall gave the Panthers an early spark by picking off a Drew Brees pass and returning it 67 yards to set up a Carolina field goal.
That gave Carolina only its second lead at home this season at 3-0.
"The interception was fun, but that's not enough," Marshall said. "I need to score with it. Find a way to get that ball in the end zone. That's what we've got to start doing. We've got to start scoring on defense. I have to get that ball in the end zone."
The Panthers haven't scored a defensive touchdown since Week 7 of last year.
--QB Jimmy Clausen or Tony Pike will start Sunday against Tampa Bay after Matt Moore tore the labrum in his right shoulder and had to be placed on IR. Clausen is 0-3 as the team's starting quarterback. Coach John Fox will name a starter later in the week.
--QB Tony Pike or Jimmy Clausen will start Sunday against Tampa Bay after Matt Moore tore the labrum in his right shoulder and had to be placed on IR. Pike saw his first action in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 34-3 loss to New Orleans.
--RB DeAngelo Williams has missed the last two games with a sprained foot and his status for this week remains up in the air.
--RB Jonathan Stewart suffered a concussion in the loss to New Orleans and had to leave the game. He's expected to miss Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.
--RB Mike Goodson could start Sunday's game against Tampa Bay with DeAngelo Williams (foot) and Jonathan Stewart (concussion) nursing injuries.
--RB Tyrell Sutton injured his ankle in Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay.
--RB Andre Brown was claimed by the Panthers on waivers from the Colts. Brown has been with the Giants, Broncos and Colts this season.
--TE Dante Rosario is seeing more action on third downs but still isn't a big part of the passing game.
--WR Steve Smith managed just one reception for 9 yards on Sunday and that came in the last minute of Carolina's 34-3 loss to the Saints. Smith is a victim of poor quarterback play and an overall poor offense.
--WR David Gettis led the Panthers in receiving yards Sunday, which is good until you consider he only had 22 yards.
--K John Kasay missed a 40-yard field goal this past week, his first miss from inside 50 yards since last October.
--P Jason Baker continues to have a solid season for the Panthers.
--MLB Dan Connor was placed on injured reserve with broken bone in his hip. Connor will have surgery this week.
--LB Jon Beason will return from middle linebacker after spending the first eight games at weak side linebacker. Beason went to two Pro Bowls as a middle linebacker but volunteered to move after Thomas Davis re-injured his knee.
--LB Thomas Davis decided to shut it down rather than come off the PUP list and hurry back from a second torn ACL in June. He will revert to injured reserve.
--LB Nic Harris will be considered as a possible starting weak side linebacker this week with Jon Beason moving back inside.
--LB Jordan Senn will be considered as a possible starting weak side linebacker this week with Jon Beason moving back inside.
--LB Jason Williams will be considered as a possible starting weak side linebacker this week with Jon Beason moving back inside.
--RT Jeff Otah has missed the first half of the season with a knee injury. His recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery was initially expected to take only 2-3 weeks.
--S Jordan Pugh could see action as a kick returner if Mike Goodson has to carry the load at running back.
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