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Bucs QB Freeman out vs. Panthers; Johnson to start

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to fend off the Carolina Panthers in a battle of NFC South cellar-dwellers without their starting quarterback.

Josh Freeman confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that he will not play Sunday because of a shoulder injury that has hampered his ability to practice throughout the week.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, citing a team and a league source, reported that quarterback Josh Johnson is set to start in place of Freeman.

"Josh (Johnson) is going to do awesome," Freeman told the Times.

Freeman hurt his shoulder during the Bucs' loss last week to the Tennessee Titans and didn't throw in practice until Friday .

Johnson last started for the Bucs in 2009, when the team lost to the New England Patriots in London. Freeman, then a rookie, replaced Johnson as the starter the following week.

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