CLEVELAND -- Cody Kessler’s first home start at FirstEnergy Stadium did not go according to plan.
The Cleveland Browns’ rookie quarterback made only eight pass attempts with five completions for 62 yards with one touchdown before suffering chest and rib injuries on a safety with 1:20 to play in the first quarter of the 33-13 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday.
Already the Browns’ third starting quarterback this season, Kessler is now day-to-day leading up to this week’s road game at the Tennessee Titans.
“My chest/rib area, just real painful,” Kessler said following the game. “X-rays were negative so nothing is broken. That is good. I just have to do a couple more tests.”
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.
“They did a great job on that call and they called the perfect defense for that play and it was unfortunate,” Kessler said. “We ran the play all week and practiced on it. It was successful, obviously, throughout the week, and it is just unfortunate. Hats off to them. They called a great call on that.”
What makes the injury more frustrating for Kessler was the fact that despite struggles in the run game, the Browns were able to move the ball early in the loss to the Patriots.
Down by seven points after the Patriots marched down the field for a touchdown on their first drive of the game, Kessler and the Browns had an answer with their own trip into the end zone on the ensuing possession.
Kessler led a nine-play, 75-yard drive, and capped it off with an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, which drew them even with the Patriots, 7-7, with 6:09 to play in the first quarter.
“I felt really comfortable,” Kessler said. “We felt comfortable as an offense. We were moving the ball well and the play calling was great. We were getting really in a good rhythm, and that is just from the last few weeks too. I just continue to get more and more comfortable with the more playing time I get. Like I said, it is just unfortunate, and it hurt me to come out.”
Although hurting from the injuries, Kessler is committed to doing what is necessary to get himself in a position to start against the Titans.
“My goal is to come back as fast as possible,” Kessler said. “I will know more in the next couple days and just see how it feels and stay on top of it and get treatment, but yeah, my goal is to get healthy really fast.”