1. Brandon Weeden gets his first start since injuring his right thumb in a Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. On Oct. 3, after starter Brian Hoyer tore the ACL in his right knee while sliding, Weeden entered the Thursday night game and threw for 197 yards and a touchdown to lead the Browns to a 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
2. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, thought by many to be the NFL’s best at his position, missed last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers with swelling in his right knee and could sit out or be limited against the Browns. Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday that Johnson will be a game-time decision. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Johnson has 3,957 receiving yards, the most in the NFL.
3. The Browns’ seventh-ranked pass defense (207.6 yards per game) faces a tough test against the Lions’ sixth-ranked pass offense (291.6 yards) and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has done a good job of spreading the ball around to his receivers. Five Lions have at least 15 catches this season and four have at least 200 receiving yards.
4. Lions running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell have been as dangerous catching passes out of the backfield as they have been running the ball. Bush has 298 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 204 yards and a touchdown receiving. Bell has rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns and caught a team-high 22 passes for 237 yards.
5. Today will be the first matchup (in the regular season) between two of this past draft’s top pass rushers, the Browns’ Barkevious Mingo and the Lions’ Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, who were taken back-to-back at No. 5 and No. 6 overall. Ansah, who lines up as a defensive end, leads NFL rookies with 3.5 sacks this season and Mingo is right behind him with three.