CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns will take on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but despite being two days from their fourth road game of the season, there are questions about who will start at quarterback.
Unable to keep any of their three starting quarterbacks healthy over the first five weeks of the regular season, the Browns are trying to get two signal-callers, veteran Josh McCown and rookie Cody Kessler, healthy in time to play. McCown is working his way back from a left collarbone injury suffered in Week Two and Kessler is battling through chest/rib issues after being hurt in last Sunday’s home loss to the New England Patriots.
“I thought both of them threw the ball around well,” Browns head coach Hue Jackson said. “We will keep looking at Cody, but he is taking reps. Josh took reps. It was good to see them both out there.
“It is important for our team know who the quarterback is. When you are coming off injuries like that, you just kind of have to see where everybody is. After practice is normally when things start to on their bodies either break down or get better. We will get a feel for where they are.”
The Patriots’ defense brought a heavy rush against Kessler early in the Browns’ third offensive possession of the game, and it resulted in a safety that built their lead to 16-7 late in the first quarter.
Facing a second-and-12 from the 10-yard line after a loss of two yards on first down following a short kickoff return from rookie defensive back Tracy Howard, Kessler fumbled the ball at the four and it went out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
The Browns’ rookie quarterback made only eight pass attempts with five completions and 62 yards with one touchdown before suffering the injuries.
“Obviously, Cody, right now, is the starter of our football team until I feel otherwise,” Jackson said. “We have to make decisions about where they are towards the end of the week. We will see that as we go.”
As insurance policies if Kessler and/or McCown are unable to play against the Titans because of the injuries, the Browns are continuing to get repetitions at practice for wide receiver, and former Oakland Raiders quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, and also, promoted Kevin Hogan from the practice squad to the active roster.
“We don’t know how all of this is going to unfold towards the end of the week,” Jackson said. “It is important that we have enough bodies that can go out there and play in case something was to happen. He knows our system.
“He has been around now and understands the verbiage. You want to be able to play in rhythm of your offense. Last week, as I said, it was unfortunate. I put Terrelle in a tough spot. Trying to yell plays from the sidelines and this and that, that is hard. We need to be a functional offensive football team, so I wanted to make sure of that.”