November 26, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
34°F

Injury angers Weeden

BEREA — Quarterback Brandon Weeden learned a valuable lesson while watching Brian Hoyer lead the Browns to their first win last week in Minnesota.
“Don’t get hurt,” Weeden said Friday. “I don’t know how else to put it. Injuries suck. They happen. Things happen for a reason and we’ll see how it plays out.”
Weeden didn’t feel right as he watched from the sideline. And he didn’t mean his sprained right thumb.
“It’s terrible. I felt like a duck out of water on the sidelines,” he said of missing the start. “In pregame warmup it was a unique feeling. I’ve never felt it, honestly, ever in any sport. It’s frustrating.
“It sucks. It’s not how you draw it up just because as a competitor I want to be out there.”
Weeden will miss his second straight game Sunday against Cincinnati, with Hoyer starting again. Weeden began throwing Thursday with a baseball and softball and reintroduced the football Friday with about 40 tosses. He hadn’t thrown since banging his hand on a helmet on a follow-through Sept. 15 against Baltimore.
“It felt great,” he said. “Everything has been above and beyond what I was hoping and it’s getting there. It’s definitely ahead of the curve. I healed faster than maybe (the medical staff) originally thought that I was.”
Weeden said he doesn’t know when he might be able to play and is taking it day by day.
“Test this thing and keep pushing it and whenever Chud and the staff is ready for me to go, I’ll be ready to go,” he said.
Coach Rob Chudzinski reiterated this week he’ll decide the starting quarterback on a weekly basis. The job had been Weeden’s until the injury and Weeden doesn’t know if he’ll get it back when he’s healthy.
“At this point where we’re at, that’s out of my control,” he said. “My focus is making sure this thumb continues to make the steps that allow me to get back and be 100 percent.”
Chudzinski said he explained the situation to Weeden, and that he understood.
“We really haven’t talked about it,” Weeden said. “My main focus, our main focus, is me getting healthy. Once I get healthy, then we can cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Cundiff kicks
Billy Cundiff dressed in full uniform and kicked for the first time since experiencing tightness in his thigh against the Vikings. He was unable to finish the game.
“He seems to have no problems,” Chudzinski said. “We’ll see (today) how he feels.”
Cundiff was limited in practice and listed as questionable (50-50) on the official injury report, and Chudzinski wouldn’t get specific about the plan for Sunday if Cundiff can’t kick.
“We have possibilities with Spencer, as well as other guys that are out there,” Chudzinski said.
Spencer Lanning is the punter who handled the final extra point and kickoff vs. the Vikings. He was a kicker in college. Giorgio Tavecchio lost the tryout to Cundiff the opening week of the season and could be signed. He’s never kicked in the NFL.
Cundiff wouldn’t discuss the injury, citing team policy.
“I kicked enough just to kinda see how I feel and obviously we’ll evaluate (today),” he said, adding he won’t kick today and never does on Saturday. “I’ve been encouraged all week. Let’s just put it that way.”
Injury report
Outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard didn’t practice all week with a sprained left knee — he wasn’t on the field during the portions open to the media — and was listed as doubtful. Rookie Barkevious Mingo is expected to make his first NFL start in his place.
Defensive end Billy Winn (quadriceps) and outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) were ruled out. Starter Ahtyba Rubin and backup John Hughes will see increased time without Winn.
Right guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) was limited all week and listed as questionable. He missed the first three games following arthroscopic surgery Aug. 9. He and Oniel Cousins (chest, probable) shared work with the first-team offense during the week, and Lauvao said it will be a gametime decision who starts.
The Bengals will have a depleted secondary. Cornerbacks Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick and safety Reggie Nelson were listed as doubtful with hamstring injuries. Hall and Nelson are starters.
Contact Scott Petrak at (440) 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @scottpetrak.