Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer capped a personally poignant week by having knee surgery.
Hoyer is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery on Friday, and Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he hopes the QB will be able to return for practice next spring.
Hoyer had his torn right anterior cruciate ligament repaired at the Cleveland Clinic. The 28-year-old sustained the season-ending injury on Oct. 3 against Buffalo in the first quarter of his third start. It was a devastating blow to the Cleveland native who had led his hometown Browns to two straight wins while replacing injured starter Brandon Weeden.
”We’re hopeful in the spring that we’ll see him,” Chudzinski said following practice as the Browns got ready for Sunday’s game in Green Bay. ”From my understanding, everything went well with the surgery. Just knowing him, from a rehab standpoint, I know he’s going to do everything he can to get ready.”
It’s been quite a few days for Hoyer. In addition to the operation, he celebrated a birthday and he and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their second child, a daughter named Cameron.
Hoyer’s storybook start to the season ended when he got hurt on an awkward slide at the end of an 11-yard scramble against the Bills. Hoyer’s right cleat got caught underneath him as he slid, and he was hit as he hit the turf from the side by Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Before he was injured, Hoyer had energized the Browns, who had their three-game winning streak stopped Sunday by Detroit. Hoyer, who spent three seasons as Tom Brady’s backup in New England and had been cut by three teams in 11 months, took over for Weeden and guided the Browns to wins over Minnesota and Cincinnati. He threw go-ahead touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of both games.
”He did a great job coming in and gave us a real spark,” Chudzinski said. ”He played very well. You saw improvement every game that he played, and he was able to make plays for us and really help us in that stretch to get us going.”
Hoyer’s performance may not prevent the Browns from drafting a quarterback in next year’s draft, but it did show that he can be an option in the event they need a QB or if Weeden continues to struggle.
The Browns made some other roster moves on Friday, placing rookie defensive back Josh Aubrey on injured reserve and waiving running back Bobby Rainey.
Chudzinski said Aubrey sprained his knee and ankle in practice Thursday. He appeared in six games this season on special teams. In the win over the Vikings, Aubrey ran for 34 yards on a faked punt, a key play in Cleveland’s win.
Also, the club promoted wide receiver Tori Gurley and cornerback Julian Posey from their practice squad to the active roster.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Gurley played in the Browns first two games and made one catch for 15 yards.
NOTES: RB Willis McGahee practiced after sitting out Thursday to rest his surgically repaired knees. McGahee said ”all systems go” for Sunday and he’s listed as probable on the injury report. … OLB Jabaal Sheard said he’s eager to return this week after missing three games with a sprained left knee. … Chudzinski said Weeden had an excellent week of practice as he tried to shake off an inexcusable interception last week in a loss to Detroit. ”I thought he’s had his best couple of days of practice here: very focused and receptive to the coaching,” Chudzinski said. ”You can see him doing things, specifically working to improve in areas that we’re talking about where he needs to improve. I am expecting him and I have confidence in him, like the team does, to go out and play his very best.”