Holcomb steps in again

Updated: October 27, 2003, 10:12 AM ET

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch sprained his thumb Sunday and was replaced for the second straight game by Kelly Holcomb.

Couch was hurt early in the second quarter against the New England Patriots when he hit a shoulder pad as he followed through on a throw.

Holcomb then played one series in the second quarter, leading Cleveland to Phil Dawson's tying 29-yard field goal that capped a 12-play, 51-yard drive. It made the score 3-3 with 24 seconds left in the half.

X-rays on Couch's right thumb were negative, but Holcomb stayed in the game.

In the first half, Couch was 7-for-11 for 40 yards, while Holcomb went 7-for-10 for 54 yards.

One week earlier, Couch threw two interceptions before being replaced in the third quarter by Holcomb against San Diego. Holcomb rallied the Browns, but they lost 26-20.

Holcomb started the first three games of the season, then broke his leg. Couch started the next four.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index