Browns quarterback Jason Campbell will start Sunday on the road against the New England Patriots, coach Rob Chudzinski announced this afternoon following practice.
Campbell said he suffered a concussion Nov. 24 against the Pittsburgh Steelers when cornerback William Gay whacked him in the face mask, not when his helmet his the ground a split-second later.
Campbell didn’t return to practice until Thursday. He practiced again today, and an independent neurologist cleared him to play against the Patriots.
“I feel good, I feel great,” Campbell said today after practice. “Our training staff has done an outstanding job taking the protocols seriously and making sure that before you get back out on the field that you’re 100 percent ready to go. I feel good, I feel great. I had a great two days of practice.”
Meanwhile, the Browns (4-8) ruled out quarterback Brandon Weeden against the Patriots (9-3). Weeden suffered a concussion Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is also listed with a knee injury, though Chudzinski said it’s not serious.
Chudzinski said the coaches have yet to decide whether Caleb Hanie or Alex Tanney will serve as the No. 2 quarterback Sunday. The Browns signed Hanie off the street Tuesday and Tanney off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad Nov. 26. Hanie took the second turn in individual drills the past two games, followed by Tanney.
Players were relieved to have Campbell back.
“It’s time to roll,” wide receiver Davone Bess said. “Obviously it’s a lot better feeling knowing we have some familiarity at the position. We’re excited about Jason’s return and we’re looking forward to it.”
Added inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson: "First and foremost, I was happy to see him healthy, let alone practicing. Anytime you’re dealing with those types of issues, if you err, you want to err with caution. He was back. He was throwing the ball well these last two days. I’m just happy that he’s back and he’s feeling normal and he’s back at the quarterback position. He’s going to help us. He’s played well when he was healthy, and he’s shown he can be a trooper and take a pounding and still come back. So I’m happy for him, and he’s going to give this team a big boost.”
Procedure went well
Defensive end Desmond Bryant underwent a cardiac ablation this morning at the Cleveland Clinic to fix an irregular heartbeat. The procedure went as expected, and Bryant is expected to make a full recovery, Browns spokesman Zak Gilbert said.
The Browns placed Bryant on the reserve/non-football illness list Wednesday, ending his season. Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract with the Browns in March after spending the previous four seasons with the Oakland Raiders, started all 12 games this season and compiled 45 tackles, including 3½ sacks.
Chudzinski said Billy Winn, John Hughes and rookie Armonty Bryant will play more in Bryant’s absence, but he declined to name a starter for Sunday.
The Browns listed inside linebackers Craig Robertson (sprained knee) and Tank Carder (shoulder) and tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) as questionable. Campbell is one of five players officially listed as probable.