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Not decision yet

September 23, 2013 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- Browns coach Rob Chudzinski still needs to gather more information before deciding whether to stick with quarterback Brian Hoyer Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals or return to Brandon Weeden.

At least that's what Chudzinski said Monday at his press conference to discuss the 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. It all could change by the time the players meet Wednesday to begin preparations.

If anything, this is more a ploy to keep the Bengals guessing than to actually consider going back to Weeden. Chudzinski pretty much laid his hand on the table last week when he failed to commit to Weeden after he returns from the sprained right thumb that sidelined him last Sunday. All signs indicate that Weeden could be ready to go this week.

There's no way Chudzinski can sit Hoyer after his 321-yard, three-touchdown effort against the Vikings. He showed something that Weeden has lacked since assuming the starting job at the start of last season -- the ability to motivate those around him and to go out and back it up with big plays.

The fan backlash from returning to Weeden might be stronger than it was last week after running back Trent Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Hoyer is a hometown boy that, for now anyway, has most of the fans firmly in his corner.

Chudzinski, general manager Mike Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner were looking for an excuse to start Hoyer. They received it, thanks to the injury Weeden suffered late in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Ravens.

The belief that a starter can't lose his job to an injury went out the window a long time ago. It's now Hoyer's show to run, as unfair as it might seem to Weeden.


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