CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns do not yet know who will be under center and lining up in the shotgun formation when they take the field against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Starting quarterback Cody Kessler suffered a concussion in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in AFC North Division play at Paul Brown Stadium, and in his place, fellow rookie Kevin Hogan accounted for 204 yards with a rushing touchdown.
Should Kessler not be able to play, the Browns may have to start their fourth different quarterback this season. Through seven games, six different players have taken snaps at quarterback.
“We will find out,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said of the quarterback situation. “Wednesday is a day-and-a-half away, so we will figure that out as we go.
“We have been through this. We are just going to keep working and be prepared for many different scenarios as we go through it and make sure that we can field a good offensive football team on Sunday. That is what we will do.”
Facing a second-and-13 from Cincinnati’s 16-yard line in the first half, Kessler stood in the pocket and shoveled a pass to tight end Gary Barnidge. Barnidge made a one-handed catch for an 11-yard gain, but Kessler was hit twice on the play and got sent off the field by the referee. Kessler was taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation and was unable to return.
Kessler went 9 for 11 with 82 yards passing against the Bengals. In his place, Hogan completed 12 of his 24 throws for 100 yards with two interceptions.
“At the end of the day, that is what they are going to learn because if not, you are standing over there next to me or you are in concussion protocol,” Jackson said of the quarterbacks needing to better protect themselves. “You just can’t do it. That is hard. It is a hard lesson to learn sometimes. I used to have this thing where quarterbacks just had to say ‘uncle.’ You throw the ball away or you take a sack just because it is the right thing to do for your football team.”
While Kessler is in the NFL’s Concussion Protocol until he can pass baseline tests and exerts himself without the reappearance of symptoms before he can return to practice, the Browns could be getting back veteran Josh McCown.
Before suffering a left collarbone injury in a Week Two loss to the Baltimore Ravens, McCown completed 20 of his 33 attempts for 260 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“We will know a little bit more as we move through this week exactly where he is,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, we will see where he is by Wednesday. He has been practicing. I think you guys all know that. There are some things we need to still take a look at to make sure he is ready to go.
“What we have to do is find who is going to be playing, like you guys asked, for this week and get ready to practice for the guys that can play and compete and go from there.”