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Connor Shaw earned respect of all the Browns

Cleveland Browns players continued to talk with respect and admiration for the job Connor Shaw did even as they headed home or out of town.

Shaw showed toughness, grit and determination in finishing a game in which he took several serious hits from an aggressive and physical Baltimore Ravens defense. He dislocated a finger on his left hand trying to recover a fumble on the Browns first possession, then suffered a painful rib injury on a third-quarter deep throw to Taylor Gabriel. There was some talk that Shaw cracked or fractured a rib, but the team said he had no broken bones. Regardless, the hit would have sidelined a lot of players.

Shaw was in serious pain after the game. But he stayed in the game the entire 60 minutes, playing through the issues. He completed 14-of-28 for 177 yards, but earned the respect of his teammates for the way he had the team in the right play and formation, and for the fact that he usually made the right throw. He had limitations, but he gave it all he had.

Tight end Jordan Cameron pointed out that Shaw was able to do what he did despite spending most of the season working as the scout team safety or working as the opposing quarterback for the scout team. Shaw was on the practice squad until the day before the game, and he didn't have a full practice with the offense until the Wednesday before the finale.

"Here’s a kid that was peeing blood [Sunday] night," coach Mike Pettine said on Monday. "Took a shot in the kidney. He took some major shots during the game and got up. It’s a credit to him. He wasn’t coming out. He showed some things."

What he showed that his teammates appreciated was heart.