Clausen will make his first start in nearly four years against the Lions on Sunday, replacing Jay Cutler, who was benched earlier this week. Clausen was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by Carolina and played in 13 games during his rookie season, starting nine contests.
He only won one of those starts during the team's 2-14 campaign. During the following offseason, the team fired John Fox and selected Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
“I think it was unfair when he was in Carolina," Tate said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "He wasn't on a great team and being a rookie, the next year, they draft Cam Newton, so he sits as a No. 3 because Derek Anderson was the No. 2. They wouldn't let him go, so he couldn't even get an opportunity to prove himself.”
Tate, who has a team-leading 91 catches for 1,224 yards this season, is excited for his friend, but still hopes Detroit “beat him pretty bad” on Sunday.
In five NFL seasons, Clausen has thrown for 1,600 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
"I believe in him and I'm hoping that he makes the best of his opportunity for his last two games," Tate told the Free Press. "In a perfect world, he would play well and throw no touchdowns, and we will win."
- Scooby Axson