Browns lose game, another QB in 31-17 defeat at Bengals
CINCINNATI (AP) Cody Kessler ran away from the rush, pulled up and tossed an 11-yard shovel pass as two Bengals bore down on him. The Browns quarterback went down after the hit, and stayed down.
Unbelievably, Cleveland had lost yet another quarterback.
Kessler suffered a concussion during the second quarter of a 31-17 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday that left the Browns as the NFL's only winless team. It's unclear whether he'll be available next Sunday when the Browns (0-7) host the Jets.
So that makes six quarterbacks in seven games for the Browns, who just can't keep them healthy.
''The luck's just not swinging our way,'' coach Hue Jackson said. ''We're not getting those breaks right now.''
Things seemed to be looking up when Kessler threw for a career-high 337 yards and a pair of touchdowns during a loss at Tennessee a week ago.
Against the Bengals, he completed 9 of 11 for 82 yards, getting off to a solid start and keeping Cleveland in the game. His final completion - on a shovel pass - ended his day.
On came Kevin Hogan, an undrafted rookie who took over at Stanford after Andrew Luck left. He'd already been in the game for a couple of running plays, showing the Bengals (3-4) an unexpected look. He never expected to be running the offense - he never even does that in practice.
''I felt very comfortable out there,'' Hogan said. ''I felt good in the huddle, leading the guys and getting to the right plays.''
Hogan slipped through a couple of tackles on a 28-yard touchdown run early in the second half, the longest TD run by a quarterback in Browns history.
But the Bengals were able to go after him with the big lead and force mistakes. Hogan was 12 of 24 for 100 yards with a pair of interceptions, one of them tipped.
Hogan also ran seven times for a team-high 104 yards, the second-most by a quarterback in Browns history. Johnny Manziel ran for 108 yards against Kansas City in 2015.
''For a guy who was on our practice squad that I'd never taken snaps with - unbelievable,'' right guard John Greco said.
He's the latest in a long list of Browns quarterbacks through seven games, joining Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Kessler, Charlie Whitehurst and Terrelle Pryor, who also filled in as an emergency replacement.
Pryor is the Browns' leading receiver and played Sunday despite an injured hamstring. Jackson said there's a chance that McCown, who has an injured left shoulder, could be available to play against the Jets.
For now, Hogan is the last Browns quarterback standing.
''These quarterbacks only have so many of these hits in their body, you know?'' Jackson said. ''Pretty soon, guys don't get up all the time, and that's what's been happening. It's just been happening way too much, so on we go.''
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