CLEVELAND — The Browns fears were confirmed Friday morning.
“Brian Hoyer has a torn ACL and is out for the season,” Rob Chudzinski said in a conference call Friday morning.
Earlier reports said that Hoyer had a partially torn ACL in his right knee were incorrect. However, it was torn and he will undergo surgery to repair the tear. Chudzinski said there was no other structural damage to the knee or any other torn ligaments.
Hoyer’s stint as the Browns starting quarterback this season, at least, lasted a little more than two games. Hoyer was injured with about 11 minutes to play in the first quarter against the Bills as he attempted to scramble and after picking up 11 yards was hit by linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Hoyer finishes the season 57-of-96 for 615 yards (59.4 pct.) with five touchdowns and three interceptions. His passer rating was 82.6.
“He did a great job stepping in and showing what he could do,” Chudzinski said. “He was a big reason we won those couple (Vikings and Bengals) games, not the only reason.”
Hoyer finally had the opportunity to start in the NFL and was making the most of it. Chudzinski expects Hoyer to recover and be back in the mix.
“Obviously, he was disappointed,” Chudzinski said. “But, if you know him, how positive he is, he’s already thinking about being back.
“He’s such a positive guy, you just don’t doubt that (he’ll come back).”
Now, the 3-2 Browns turn back to Weeden, who started the first two games and sprained his right thumb against the Ravens. Chudzinski was asked if the Browns can continue their winning ways under Weeden. The Browns lost the two games he started.
“We have no other choice,” he said. “We expect (Weeden) to do well, as we do all of our players. It is no different for Brandon.”
Weeden took over for Hoyer and was 13-of-24 for 197 yards with a touchdown and a 95.3 rating in the 37-24 win over the Bills.
“We talked about him being ready,” Chudzinski said. “He reacted positively. He managed the game coming off the bench, which is always difficult.
“He was able to make some big plays, big throws for us, culminating in Josh (Gordon’s) touchdown.”
Weeden is 60-of-110 for 713 yards (54.5 pct.) with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His rating is 69.2.
The noticeable difference thus far is Weeden tends to hang on to the ball longer and has been sacked 16 times, while Hoyer has been sacked just six times. Weeden was sacked five times by the Bills.
Going forward, the Browns will have to decide if they saw enough from Hoyer to not have to target another quarterback next offseason or if Weeden can show enough, as well.
“We’re six games into this season,” Chudzinski said. “I am focused on this season.”
Chudzinski did indicate that he and CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi were planning on sitting down and discussing their plans for the quarterback position moving forward. Hoyer will be placed on injured reserve and Weeden and Jason Campbell are on the roster.
Desmond Cleared: Chudzinski said that DL Desmond Bryant was discharged form the Cleveland Clinic after leaving the game with shortness of breath.
“He’s fine,” Chudzinski said.
Chudzinski expects no further set back with Bryant, but was sent for precautionary reasons. Bryant did experience an irregular heartbeat last year while playing for the Raiders.
Injury Update: The only other injury in the game was RB Chris Ogbonnaya (head) who was being treated for concussion symptoms. It is unclear how long he might be out.
Chudzinski mentioned that LB Jabaal Sheard (knee) and LB Quentin Groves (ankle) had been doing some running and are progressing.
“The extra couple of days (before the Lions game a week from Sunday) really helps out with some of these injured players.
Rookie Shines: Rookie DL Armonty Bryant received more playing time with DL Desmond Bryant being taken to the Cleveland Clinic. Chudzinski praised the rookie seventh-round draft choice.
“I’m glad you asked about him,” Chudzinski said. “A number of guys did a really good job of stepping up and Armonty was one of them.He had pressure on the quarterback and had a big sack. John Hughes also had a solid game.”