The Browns host the Chicago Bears in the 2010 preseason finale for both teams. The Browns' top two quarterbacks -- Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace -- won't play and neither will Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler. Rookie quarterback Colt McCoy was announced as the expected starting quarterback for the Browns about an hour before kickoff. Todd Collins will start at quarterback for the Bears. Most of the other starters from both teams will likely receive little playing time if any at all. So tonight will mostly serve as an opportunity for lower-profile players to compete for roster spots. NFL teams must trim their 75-man rosters to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday. Pay close attention to special teams tonight. Several players on the proverbial bubble know they must impress on special teams to earn jobs. Tonight's game won't start until 8 p.m., and I have an 11:20 p.m. deadline. In other words, bear with me when it comes to online updates. They won't be as frequent throughout the game, but I promise to provide a recap in this space about an hour after the game is over. The good news? This won't be an issue during the regular season. All the Browns' 2010 regular-season games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., so I'll be able to write for the web and the newspaper with time to spare. Trust me when I say I'm looking forward to that.
Final recap (postgame quotes included because they didn't make the print edition)
Top storylines: 1. Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty is expected to make his NFL debut tonight. Hardesty missed most of August after he sustained a bone bruise to his right knee shortly before the Browns' first full-squad practice of training camp began July 31. The Browns are hoping Hardesty can stay healthy and contribute. After all, they traded up to draft him in the second round (59nd overall) of this year's draft. 2. Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will start and receive by far the most playing time of his short professional career. Browns coach Eric Mangini said McCoy and fellow backup quarterback Brett Ratliff will each play two quarters. 3. Remember to keep an eye on players who are fighting to survive the upcoming roster cuts. Mangini said good and bad performances by those players tonight could become deciding factors when cuts are made. Pay attention to running backs James Davis and Chris Jennings. They'll be trying to make big plays, especially on special teams.
Sidelined players: Browns -- DB Nick Sorensen, LB D'Qwell Jackson, DL C.J. Mosley, OL Floyd Womack, OL John St. Clair (out for personal reasons), TE Robert Royal and DL Shaun Rogers. Bears -- QB Jay Cutler, QB Caleb Hanie, S Craig Steltz, S Major Wright, LB Nick Roach, LB Brian Urlacher, LB Lance Briggs, C Olin Kreutz, WR Earl Bennett and LB Hunter Hillenmeyer.
Lineup changes: Browns -- Colt McCoy will start at quarterback in place of Jake Delhomme. Bears -- Israel Idonje will start at left defensive end; Brian Iwuh will start at outside linebacker for Lance Briggs; Kevin Malast will start at middle linebacker in place of Brian Urlacher; Pisa Tinoisamoa will start at outside linebacker; Josh Beekman will start at center in place of Olin Kreutz; Todd Collins will start at quarterback in place of Jay Cutler.