CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Brian St. Pierre has thrown five passes in eight seasons. He wasn't in a training camp this summer and as recent as last week was a stay-at-home dad.
Sunday, he'll start for the Panthers.
A season of anemic offensive play, multiple injuries and one victory took an even stranger twist Thursday when coach John Fox picked St. Pierre, 30, over rookie Tony Pike to play against the Ravens.
"The guy has been in some games," Fox said.
That's good enough these days to start for Carolina (1-8), the NFL's lowest-scoring team, which has scored nine touchdowns and has no healthy, experienced quarterbacks.
Rookie Jimmy Clausen missed practice again Thursday with a concussion sustained Sunday against the Bucs. Matt Moore was lost to a season-ending shoulder injury last week.
Pike is a sixth-round draft pick from Cincinnati who has appeared in one game and who Fox doesn't think is ready to start.
Enter St. Pierre, who since being a fifth-round pick of the Steelers in 2003 is 2-of-5 for 12 yards, a touchdown and an interception with three teams.
"I know what the situation looks like to everyone," St. Pierre said. "It is what it is. I'm not going to complain about it."
St. Pierre was hanging out at his suburban Boston home helping care for his 18-month-old son last week when the Panthers called. The former Boston College player will have four practices under his belt, including one with the practice squad last week, when he takes the field against the Ravens.
"It's a tough situation. I don't know how many times this has ever happened, really," St. Pierre said. "John Fox came up to me on Wednesday and said, 'Vinny Testaverde did this three years ago.' I said, 'Well, Vinny has a little better resume than I do.'
"I appreciate them having enough faith in me to throw me out there. I hope I can reward them by holding my own Sunday and hopefully helping this team win a game."
goodell proud of Vick: Commissioner Roger Goodell says Michael Vick is doing all the right things and he's proud of the way the Eagles' quarterback has turned his life around after serving time in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Goodell said Vick is doing a terrific job on and off the field and he is in frequent contact with Vick either by phone or text message, offering encouragement and guidance.
blackout watch: The Bengals said Sunday's home game against the Bills will be blacked out. This is the first time Cincinnati hasn't sold out a game since Nov. 9, 2003. … The Jaguars were granted a 24-hour ticket-selling extension to try to avoid a blackout of Sunday's game against the Browns.
Browns: Linebacker Marcus Benard said the impeding birth of his son was part of the stress that led to him fainting at his locker Nov. 11 after practice and be hospitalized. Benard's son, Ashai Sharoz, which he said means "a special gift" in Muslim, was born Monday. Benard had a battery of tests and said doctors have ruled out any heart problems or other major medical condition for his fainting. He played Sunday against the Jets.
Colts: Receiver Austin Collie doesn't want to talk about the violent hit that left him with a concussion. In a written statement issued through the team, Collie thanked fans for their thoughts and prayers and acknowledged he is feeling better since the hit Nov. 7 against the Eagles.
Patriots: Quarterback Tom Brady practiced on a limited basis after missing Wednesday's session with a foot injury.
Seahawks: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is ready to play against the Saints on Sunday despite two cracked bones in his left wrist. "I'm really not in that much pain at all. … I'm not concerned at all," he said. … The team's players were the latest to vote to give the players association the option of decertifying if there is a lockout next year.
Texans: Quarterback Matt Schaub practiced after being hospitalized with an injury to the bursa sac in his right knee, and coach Gary Kubiak expects his No. 1 quarterback to start against the Jets on Sunday.
Titans: Kerry Collins is healing quickly enough from a strained left calf that he will be the emergency third quarterback Sunday against the Redskins. Coach Jeff Fisher refused to share his plans if something happens to Vince Young or rookie Rusty Smith.