Posted October 04, 2013

Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer suffers torn ACL; out for season

Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns
Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer is a few seconds away from a truncated season. (Tony Dejak/AP)

An awkward slide and hit on this scramble Thursday night ended Brian Hoyer’s season. (Tony Dejak/AP)

For a couple of games, the Cleveland Browns were on track with their quarterback plan. Their 2012 first-round pick, Brandon Weeden, suffered a sprained thumb in the team’s 14-6 Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and Brian Hoyer came off the bench to help the Browns win their next two games. Thus, a Browns team written off for the 2013 season by many after the Sept. 18 trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts was playing the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night for a chance to lead the AFC North with a 3-2 record.

The Browns got that win, but it came with a heavy price. Hoyer was tackled near the right sideline in the first quarter by linebacker Kiko Alonso and left the game with a knee injury. On Friday morning, Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski confirmed what many feared — Hoyer suffered a torn ACL in his right knee and will be out for the season.

Now the Browns’ fate is back in the hands of Weeden, who completed 13 passes in 24 attempts for 197 yards and a touchdown in the 37-24 win Thursday night. Weeden looked lost at times — he hadn’t taken any reps in two weeks while recovering from his own injury — but he did make some good downfield throws in the second half.

Hoyer signed a two-year, $1.965 million contract with the Browns in May. He was a longtime favorite of current general manager and former NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi. During Lombardi’s time in the media, he called the selection of Weeden, and Weeden himself, a “panicked disaster.” However, when he got a better look at the second-year quarterback, Lombardi changed his tune to a degree.

“I think [Weeden] clearly has proven in the offseason that he’s gotten better at everything they’ve asked him to do,” Lombardi said in late July. “So, every day is about getting better, and I think that’s what a lot of players are doing.”

Unless the Browns want to start second-stringer Jason Campbell or kick the tires on new free agent Josh Freeman, Weeden and Lombardi will have to maintain a working relationship, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

“We’ve just got to push through and persevere through adversity,” receiver Josh Gordon said after Thursday’s win. “We’ve been the team that does that for the longest — since last year. Coming from behind and people doubting us. Coach fired us up, and everybody was ready.”

FARRAR: Browns take lead in AFC North, win battle of quarterback attrition over Bills

16 comments
oldman46
oldman46

This is the Browns chance to trade for Christian Ponder

oasis1994
oasis1994

Football is a joke. Watch rugby; they don't wear pads.

On a serious note though, I think the whole stop and go NFL style (which is obvious) causes these injuries. You do not see these types of injuries in rugby partly due to the fact that the game rarely stops.

GregSamick
GregSamick

Only in Cleveland.

We finally have something to cheer about with browns football.

Then our quarterback gets hurt, Out for season.

Now we are stuck with "old man" Weeden

Someone stop by the closest bar in Cleveland and see if Bernie wants to play again

Centennial
Centennial

Poor kid: It was indecision that cost him his season.

FrankCmar
FrankCmar

When are we gong to see knee braces or knee pads on these players?  They'll be a bit slower, but they won't be crippled for life.  The NFL should mandate that along with tougher helmet and chin protection against concussions.

Dodgers
Dodgers

The Cleveland Curse!

Keith100
Keith100

Too bad. All this on the same day I realized I wasn't reading the AFC North standings upside down.  Look at the bright side Cleveland-the suspense about whether Hoyer was the next Brady or the next Matt Flynn will carryover into 2014.  

LuisDaniel
LuisDaniel

I'm finally convinced that some teams are just jinxed. Best QB play since the team rebirth, and this happens in his third game.

Whatever
Whatever

(*&^(&$%^%*&(. I was really rooting for Hoyer. Hopefully they'll give him a chance to compete for the job next year, but I have a feeling they'll be drafting a QB with one of those first round picks.

BKIsles
BKIsles

Welcome to the new sports world, where a torn ACL is the equivalent of a hamstring pull.

tonybot3
tonybot3

I feel bad for the player, but the team will be fine and compete.

GregSamick
GregSamick

@FrankCmar   I agree.  I still think that helmet to helmet hit should be looked at.

Sure seemed like Buffalo players were getting in a lot of cheap shots

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@BKIsles   I understand what you mean with respect to technology, but it still takes about a yr and now Hoyer won't have the chance to prove to the team that he should be their QB of the future.  Most likely, the Browns and all the new front office people from the owner on down will select their QB meaning Hoyer will be able to compete to start next yr but most likely will be behind their new first round draft pick QB.

Just when he got his chance to lead a team, show a glimmer of hope... Poof!

I'm not a Browns fan or a Hoyer fan but I feel for the kid not just for the ACL injury, but the set of circumstances surrounding it.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@GregSamick Unless you are going to turn the NFL into flag football, these injuries are not going away.  It is a violent, collision sport, and the human body is not meant to take that abuse on a regular basis.   All of your padding, helmets, braces, and chin protection cannot stop parts of the body from breaking when the body is hit that hard.