Although Browns coach Rob Chudzinski won’t commit to giving the starting quarterback job back to Brandon Weeden, he said he would "love to see more of" Weeden.
Weeden’s sprained right thumb is not expected to need surgery, Chudzinski said today after practice. He might be able to play as soon as next week after suffering the injury when he inadvertently smacked his throwing hand against left guard John Greco’s helmet Sunday in the fourth quarter of the Browns’ 14-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“Brandon Weeden saw a specialist yesterday,” Chudzinski said. “It’s highly unlikely he will need surgery. We’ll see how he progresses for his status for next week.”
If Weeden is not out long term, will it affect Chudzinski’s decision about whether to insert him into the starting lineup again?
“Not really,” Chudzinski said. “We’re just going to take it week by week and see where he’s at and where we’re at. He’s played two games. I’d love to see more of him.”
Chudzinski wants to keep his quarterback options open for now. He said he discussed his approach with Weeden and that he understands the situation.
Brian Hoyer will start in Weeden’s place Sunday when the Browns (0-2) visit the Minnesota Vikings (0-2). Chudzinski gave Hoyer the nod, even though he entered this week as the team’s third-string quarterback and Jason Campbell was listed as Weeden’s primary backup on the depth chart.
“I have full confidence in [Hoyer],” Chudzinski said. “He’s had a great week of practice and preparation. I think as the week went on, we got better and better and better. I really feel we’re good at where we’re at right now [at quarterback]. After that, we’ll evaluate.”
New back ready
Chudzinski said running back Willis McGahee will play Sunday after signing with the Browns Thursday in the wake of the Trent Richardson trade. Chudzinski would not reveal whether McGahee will start. He said McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey will handle the tailback duties.
“We felt like he was the best guy available certainly,” said Chudzinski, who wsa the offensive coordinator at the University of Miami when McGahee starred there. “Me knowing Willis and how tough he is from a mental standpoint, what he brings to the table, I have 100 percent faith in him.”
The Denver Broncos cut McGahee in June after he failed to attend any of their voluntary practices in May. He hasn’t played since Week 11 last season, when he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and fractured his lower right leg against the San Diego Chargers.
McGahee, though, insisted he’s 100 percent healthy now.
“I think I’m doing pretty damn good,” McGahee said. “Coming back from the knee injury, this and that, I can’t complain.”
Outside linebacker Quentin Groves said he’s been told he could be out 4-6 weeks with the high-ankle sprain he suffered Sunday against the Ravens.
Groves said he’s never had a high-ankle sprain before.
“I hope I never have another one,” said Groves, who has been wearing a walking boot on his left foot. “This is my first one. It’s healing. It’s coming along rather quickly, so things looking good.”
Defensive end Ahtyba Rubin (strained right calf) is listed as questionable for Sunday. He missed the first two games this season with the injury, and he believes his status against the Vikings will be a game-time decision.
“I’m feeling good,” Rubin said. “I’m feeling better than I did previous days and last week. I’m really just trying to take it easy, make sure I go out there and perform and make sure I don’t re-injure my calf again. I’ll get out there and run around Sunday morning and see how it goes.”
Right guard Shawn Lauvao (high-ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful. Strong safety T.J. Ward (shoulder), defensive end Desmond Bryant (wrist) and wide receiver Josh Cooper (shin) are probable.
Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger was fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness Sunday against the Ravens. He pulled an opponent's helmet off. Neither Browns nose tackle Phil Taylor nor Ravens running back Ray Rice were fined by the NFL for their altercation in the first quarter Sunday. Taylor smacked Rice in the helmet, and several players have suggested that Rice spit on Taylor. … The Browns picked left tackle Joe Thomas third overall in 2007, passing on Vikings running back and reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson, who went seventh overall. Even though Thomas is a six-time Pro Bowler, some fans will always wonder whether the Browns should have picked Peterson. “That’s fun barroom talk and back-and-forth banter, but I guess I can’t really compare myself to somebody that doesn’t play my position,” Thomas said. “He’s a phenomenal talent. If somebody says they should’ve picked Adrian Peterson instead of me, it’s not hurting my feelings because he’s a damn good player.”