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Quarterback Brian Hoyer to start for Browns Thursday despite Brandon Weeden being cleared to play

By Nate Ulrich / Beacon Journal sports writer Published: September 30, 2013
Bengals Browns Footba_Kada
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer passes against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter of anNFL football game Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer will start Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills even though Brandon Weeden is healthy and has been cleared to play, coach Rob Chudzinski said today during a news conference.

Hoyer has led the Browns (2-2) to two consecutive victories, a 17-6 win Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals and a 31-27 triumph Sept. 22 against the Minnesota Vikings. Although Hoyer was listed third on the depth chart a couple of weeks ago, he was thrust into the starting lineup after Weeden suffered a sprained right thumb Sept. 15 in a 14-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Hoyer’s success has prompted Chudzinski to give him the nod against the Bills (2-2).

“He has a way of making plays,” Chudzinski said. “He’s done a good job with the opportunity, and he continues to get better.”

Chudzinski would not commit to Hoyer as his starter beyond Thursday night.

“I think it’s a week-to-week [decision],” Chudzinski said. “Where we’re at in terms of that, I’m comfortable with. We’re focused on the week. We’re focused on the day.”

Chudzinski also would not commit to Weeden as Hoyer’s backup for Thursday night, explaining that the team will work Weeden back into practice this week and see how he responds.

As for Hoyer, Chudzinski is excited about the way he has led the offense since taking control.

“I think the guys are rallying around him,” Chudzinski said. “He’s doing his job, and that’s where you get the credibility to be able to [lead], and he’s a fiery guy.”

Extra points

Chudzinski said there were no new injuries to report from Sunday’s game against the Bengals. … The secondary played its best game this season against the Bengals, Chudzinski said. … Chudzinski said Spencer Lanning’s kickoff in the first quarter that appeared to be on onside kick was actually supposed to be a squib kick.

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