The Cleveland Browns received some good news as quarterback Josh McCown returned to practice on Wednesday. Is his return to the lineup the next step?
The Cleveland Browns quarterback situation started to clear up a bit on Wednesday.
The team released its first injury report for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, and for the first time since he was injured in Week 2, quarterback Josh McCown was a full participant in practice.
That is good news as quarterback Cody Kessler remains in the concussion protocol, meaning that if McCown was not healed the Browns would be looking at taking on the Jets with rookie Kevin Hogan backed up by the recently signed Joe Callahan.
“(Josh is) definitely full practice, and we will see where he is as we go through the week,” head coach Hue Jackson said on Wednesday. “He has been out there the last few weeks throwing it around. He has definitely been medically cleared so we will just see how everything goes for the rest of the week and go from there.”
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The Browns may not be tanking this season, and Jackson may not be quite ready to say for certain that McCown will get the start, but a plan that calls for Hogan and Callahan as your top two quarterbacks on game day is not one that would be filed under “recipe for success.”
When we last saw McCown he was picking up right where he left off in 2015. In his lone start of the season, against the Baltimore Ravens, he led the Browns to an early 20-2 lead, threw for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was intercepted twice, sacked three times and the Browns would ultimately lose.
While it may be hard for McCown to change the way he plays, he does understand that with the ongoing injury situation at quarterback he needs to do what he can to stay on the field.
“You talk about those things, but the reality is the old saying, ‘Your best ability is your availability,'” McCown said. “Hue is right. You have to keep yourself healthy. You have to be smart with the football both in the pocket and then when you are outside of the pocket. If there are moments when you can avoid unnecessary hits, you have to do that. You have to throw the ball away, slide, all those things.
“Those points are always stressed, but as a quarterback group, we have to continue to internalize that and maybe see it take place more on the field.”
The bigger question is what happens after this week? No matter what McCown does on the field this weekend (if he actually does play), as soon as Kessler is cleared he should return to the starter’s role. This season is all about evaluating the roster, and while Kessler is probably not the answer, there is no reason to keep him on the bench if he is healthy.
As for the rest of the injury report, center Cameron Erving was a full participant in practice; while wide receiver Corey Coleman, guard Spencer Drango, cornerback Joe Haden and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor were all limited.