It has been five weeks since quarterback Josh McCown was last under center for the Cleveland Browns, but the long wait will come to an end on Sunday afternoon.
Back from a left collarbone injury suffered in a Week Two loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Cleveland, McCown will resume the role of starting quarterback when the Browns take on the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday night.
“I am looking forward to it,” McCown said. “It is going to be fun. Like I said and I have said it before, you want to be in this thing to make some plays. To be back out there is exciting.
“I am looking forward to go out there and battle with the guys and to focus on getting this next win. It has been a good week of work. Hats off to the trainers and everybody involved that helped me get ready. I am excited about this opportunity.”
Against the Ravens, McCown was repeatedly driven into the turf by hard-charging, relentless defenders, even when he tried to give himself up with a slide after recovering a fumbled snap.
Time and again, McCown continued to pick himself up off the grass and continue to play, but there was a physical cost, one that resulted in a postgame trip to the X-ray room for further analysis of his injured left shoulder.
That medical evaluation revealed an injury that drove him from the lineup for five weeks.
“Obviously, it was frustrating,” McCown said. “I was hoping it heals fast to be back out there. It was frustrating because we lost the game and in the matter in which we did. We got the ball down there inside, and then, we get the penalty.
“I just wish we could have seen that defense differently. All those things, when you are injured, you have a lot of time to think about that. It fuels your fire for whenever you can come back, and it gets you excited about the opportunity to get back out there again.”
Now that he is back on the field, McCown plays on embracing and appreciating the role of veteran quarterback on a young Browns team, and finding a way to lead the organization to its first win under Hue Jackson’s tutelage.
“You hope that you can just play every snap with that mindset and go to work every day with that mindset of this is the only thing that matters because there is great value to being in that moment and enjoying that moment,” McCown said.
“I think that is when you can be at your best. As best I can, I try to do that. Probably not as consistent as I would like, but at the end of the day, you want to be in that mindset of maximizing each day, so that is my goal.”