Weeden forced into action; Jim Brown honored

CLEVELAND – Brandon Weeden not only dressed for the first time in three weeks, but he was forced into action in the first period when quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a right knee injury.

Hoyer hurt his knee after scrambling 11 yards for a first down with the Browns trailing 7-0. He was worked on by medical personnel for a few minutes before walking to the locker room under his own power.

Hoyer scrambled away from a potential sack in front of the Browns’ bench. He dove to the ground to avoid any collisions but was hit on the ground by Kiko Alonso.

Weeden, who finished 13 of 24 for 197 yards and one touchdown on Thursday, started the first two games. He sprained a ligament in his right thumb late in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Coach Rob Chudzinski surprisingly named Hoyer the starter ahead of Jason Campbell. Hoyer was an instant hit, throwing three touchdowns passes in a 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He threw a pair of touchdown passes last Sunday in a 17-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Weeden created a little controversy this week when he said, “I’m treating it like this is still my football team.

“I’m still involved in the offense. I’m not discouraged. I’m going to keep continuing to prepare like I have been. If my number is called, I’m ready to go.”

  • BIG DAY: Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown was inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor. In conjunction with the ceremony, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson declared Thursday Jim Brown Day.

Brown has been in and out of favor with the organization since retiring in 1965 to pursue a movie career. Brown avoided all contact with the front office after former president Mike Holmgren removed his job from the payroll.

“It’s great to be back,” said Brown, who’s been at the team facility on a fairly regular basis. “This is where I should be. I’m always going to be a Cleveland Brown. I love this city and I love these fans.”

Brown played on the last Browns’ team to win a NFL championship in 1964. Although Brown has lost ties with the fans on occasion, he says he’s always remained close in spirit.

“I’ve never lost touch with them,” he said. “They’ve been through some lean years, but they always remember the ’64 championship team.”

  • ON GUARD: Shawn Lauvao returned as the starting right guard. Lauvao injured an ankle early in training camp during a one-on-one drill with defensive tackle Phil Taylor and had been inactive since then.

Oniel Cousin returned to the bench after getting four starting assignments.

  • WORDS OF WISDOM: Cornerback Joe Haden always includes Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders among his idols. Haden spent several minutes talking to Sanders almost three hours before kick off.

Sanders is an analyst for the “NFL Network,” which televised the game. He played at Florida State, the arch rival of Florida, where Haden played.

  • BIG NUMBERS: At halftime Travis Benjamin had 142 yards in punt returns, placing him second in team history for a single game. Eric Metcalf had 166 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers in 1993.
  • FASHION STATEMENT: For the first time ever the Browns wore all brown uniforms. They’ve tried brown pants with white tops and orange tops with white pants. The most popular look other than the standard all white and brown tops and white pants was the orange pants worn by the “Kardiac Kids.”
  • INJURY REPORT: Running back Chris Ogbonnaya left in the second quarter with a head injury.
  • INACTIVES: Out for the Browns in addition to Campbell were running back Fozzy Whittaker, linebacker Quentin Groves, offensive linemen Patrick Lewis and Martin Wallace, defensive lineman Billy Winn and linebacker Jabaal Sheard.

The Bills were hurting in the secondary. Among their inactives were starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore and free safety Jarius Byrd.