Out for the season: Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer will miss the rest of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the win over Buffalo. It’s a tough blow for Hoyer, who performed well in his two full starts playing for his hometown team. Injury is the risk of playing in the NFL, but it’s a tough part of the game.
Back to Brandon: Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was asked on a conference call why he believed he could get from Brandon Weeden what he needs now that Hoyer is out. “Because we have no other choice,” Chudzinski said. He doesn’t. Hoyer was a pleasant surprise, but the Browns are back to where they started with their quarterbacks. Weeden is the starter and Jason Campbell the backup. If Weeden does not improve in a hurry, this season could turn long very fast.
Bryant OK: Desmond Bryant left the game and was taken to the Cleveland Clinic in an ambulance after experiencing shortness of breath. Chudzinski said Bryant also had an irregular heartbeat. “We took him to the hospital,” Chudzinski said. “He stayed overnight as a precaution. He’s fine; everything is back to normal. We’re not expecting any issues going forward.” Between Bryant having an irregular heartbeat and Barkevious Mingo bruising a lung, the Browns have had some scary-sounding injuries this season.
Above breakeven: Lost in the injury to their starting quarterback is the fact that the Browns have won three in a row, are over .500 and are in first place in the AFC North. Those are all figures that cause double-takes for a team that won 23 games the five seasons coming into this one. Just less than one-third into the season, the Browns can actually ponder the possibility of competing for the division. Pittsburgh is winless. Cincinnati is not playing close to expectations. And Baltimore has its struggles. The Browns can think big, but the key is their quarterback. Since they are back to square zero at that position, it’s a rather big question.