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Browns' Delhomme to start, Cribbs likely vs. Panthers

Jake Delhomme's back where he started.

The veteran quarterback, who signed as a free agent with Cleveland to revive his career but has been slowed for nearly two months by a sprained ankle, will start Sunday as the Browns (3-7) host the Carolina Panthers (1-9), Delhomme's ex-team.

Coach Eric Mangini took the unusual step of officially choosing Delhomme his starter on Friday. Mangini typically waits until just before gametime before revealing his starting QB in order to keep the opposition off-balance.

But perhaps out of respect for Delhomme, Mangini said the 35-year-old will start.

Delhomme began the season as Cleveland's starter, but got hurt in the first half of the season opener at Tampa Bay. He came back too early and reinjured his ankle a few weeks later when Seneca Wallace suffered the same high ankle sprain.

Delhomme has been inactive for eight games, but he's again first on Cleveland's depth chart after rookie Colt McCoy rolled his ankle last week at Jacksonville and is out indefinitely.

"The revolving door," offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said.

McCoy, who went 2-3 as a starter, was seen briefly in Cleveland's locker room. He did not practice this week or speak with reporters. After showering, McCoy limped through the locker room carrying a walking boot he must wear to immobilize his ankle.

Delhomme played seven seasons with Carolina, but was waived in March after throwing a career-high 18 interceptions last season. Earlier this week, he said he's not looking for any revenge against the Panthers, whom he led to a Super Bowl.

"I had my chance there and we had a good run," Delhomme said. "That's kind of how I feel and I just want to go out and play for this team. That's the thing I am most disappointed in because of all the stuff we did in the offseason and preseason, I haven't been able to do that."

Mangini said he is "pretty optimistic" about receiver Joshua Cribbs playing Sunday. Cribbs missed last week's game with dislocated toes. The Browns listed him as questionable -- a 50-50 chance of playing -- on their injury report Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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