Cleveland — Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs has been released from a hospital after being injured on a final, meaningless play in Monday night’s 16-0 loss to Baltimore.
Agent J.R. Rickerts said Cribbs was sent home early Tuesday morning after being evaluated for several hours by doctors and undergoing tests at the Cleveland Clinic. Rickerts spoke with Cribbs and said the versatile five-year veteran was in good spirits. He did not know if Cribbs had sustained a concussion.
“He seems to be fine,” Rickerts said. “They (doctors) will continue to monitor him, and we’re waiting for them to give us their assessment.”
The Browns said in a statement that precautionary tests on Cribbs were negative.
Despite being down by three scores, the Browns were still running a no-huddle offense and trying to score in the closing seconds. On Cleveland’s last play, quarterback Brady Quinn threw a short pass to Cribbs, who was flattened by Ravens defensive end Dwan Edwards after lateraling to tight end Robert Royal near midfield. Edwards delivered a blow under Cribbs’ chin, knocking him backward.
As he laid on the field, trainers removed the facemask from Cribbs’ helmet and immobilized him for the trip to the hospital. Players on both teams, who had gathered to shake hands, knelt in prayer.
Rickerts was disappointed that coach Eric Mangini would have Cribbs, arguably Cleveland’s best player and undeniably their top playmaker, on the field for the final seconds.
“I think this was avoidable,” he said. “I don’t know if that was the play that was called or if Josh was ad libbing out there, but we could have minimized the risk. I just believe the whole thing could have been avoided.”
Quinn had thrown two deep incompletions before his pass to Cribbs with three seconds left.
Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce questioned why the Browns would be running a gadget play with the game essentially over.
“With five seconds left in the game, and you’re down 16-0, to throw a hook-and-lateral, what’s the point of that?” Pryce said. “I’m not trying to question their coaching, it’s none of my business. But you see what the result was. You do a hook-and-lateral play with a whole bunch of guys that are big and run fast, people are running around crazy and someone is going to get hurt.”
Edwards said his hit on Cribbs was not in retaliation for Quinn’s questionable chop block on Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs after an interception. Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis accused Quinn of a cheap shot on Suggs, who was scheduled to undergo an MRI on what the team said was a sprained knee.
Mangini was not asked about his decision to keep Cribbs and Cleveland’s other starters on the field in the final seconds of the shutout. He will be available later Monday via teleconference.
The Browns play the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.