Quarterback Brandon Weeden has been medically cleared to play Sunday, and he’ll serve as starter Jason Campbell’s primary backup when the Browns (4-9) host the Chicago Bears (7-6), coach Rob Chudzinski announced today.
Weeden suffered a concussion Dec. 1 when Campbell was sidelined against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Weeden was inactive this past weekend in a 27-26 loss to the New England Patriots, and he didn’t start practicing again until Wednesday. He was officially cleared to play on Thursday.
Chudzinski also said Jason Pinkston will start at left guard Sunday in place of John Greco, who has been ruled out with the sprained medial collateral ligament he suffered Sunday against the Patriots. It’ll be Pinkston’s first start since Oct. 14, 2012. He missed the final 10 games last season after a blood clot was discovered in his lung, and he sat out most of this season after suffering a high-ankle sprain Aug. 15 in an exhibition game. Pinkston appeared in his first game this season when he filled in for Greco after he left in the second quarter against the Patriots.
“It’s been a long road, a tough road for him going back to the embolism and then getting back to the point during training camp where he was feeling better,” Chudzinski said. “You could see him getting back to normal, and then he has the high-ankle sprain. So we got him back, and he’s been through a lot. I’ve really been impressed with his attitude, how he’s worked, the weight room, all the extra things, the rehab, he was in there non-stop, and in the game [Sunday], you could see he was excited about playing again. So I feel good for him. He did a good job last week, and he’s had a good week of practice.”
In addition to Greco, the Browns also ruled out running back Willis McGahee (concussion) and tight end Andre Smith (calf). Smith suffered a strained right calf during practice Thursday and wore a walking boot today. Chudzinski said the team has yet to determine whether Smith will be able to play again this season.