Panthers - Buccaneers Inactives: Josh Freeman out, Josh Johnson to start

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 27: William Hayes #95 of the Tennessee Titans tackles Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at LP Field on November 27, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Buccaneers 23 to 17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

After ESPN reported earlier today that Freeman will not play against the Carolina Panthers, the St. Petersburg Times is now confirming after receiving a text message from Freeman. Josh Freeman will not play against the Carolina Panthers and Josh Johnson will start a game for the first time since 2009. Johnson's career production is not very encouraging, but the fourth-year quarterback has likely improved since his last start three years ago. In his career Johnson has completed 79/148 passes for 810 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's also taken 14 sacks, and rushed for 204 yards on 31 carries.

In addition, CB Myron Lewis is inactive again today with Anthony Gaitor taking his spot. Lewis has struggled to earn his roster spot and has not looked good when given a chance this season, despite extended playing time the past couple of games. Other inactives includes T James Lee, with Demar Dotson once again playing as the sixth offensive lineman over Lee. WR Micheal Spurlock is inactive despite his role as the emergency QB, with Rudy Carpenter being the backup. Michael Bennett is out with a groin injury for the second straight week as Da'Quan Bowers will earn his second start.

For the Panthers, the most significant inactives are LBs Jason Phillips and Omar Gaither, and WR/KR Kealoha Pilares.

Full inactives

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Myron Lewis, DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE Michael Bennett, G Derek Hardman, T James Lee, WR Micheal Spurlock, QB Josh Freeman

Carolina Panthers: QB Jimmy Clausen, CB Brandon Hogan, G Bryant Browning, WR Kealoha Pilares, LB Jason Phillips, LB Omar Gaither, WR Darvin Adams

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