When the Browns take the field Sunday against the Vikings, Brian Hoyer will be under center. It will be the second career start for the former undrafted free agent out of Michigan St. who has previously played for the Patriots, Steelersand Cardinals.
Brandon Weeden, the Browns' 2012 first-round pick who had started the first two games of the regular season, injured the thumb on his throwing hand in Sunday's loss to the Ravens. So while it's not a surprise that Weeden will be sidelined this week, the fact that Hoyer got the nod -- and not Weeden's backup, Jason Campbell -- certainly is.
We wrote Tuesday that Weeden could be one-and-done under new coach Rob Chudzinski, who didn't have a role in drafting the former Oklahoma St. standout. And perhaps the decision to go with the younger, unproven Hoyer is part of that quarterback calculus looking ahead to 2014.
"It was absolutely my decision," Chudzinski told the media Wednesday, before adding that Hoyer "can make every throw that you need and there are no limitations from that standpoint."
Browns general manager Mike Lombardi has also been high on Hoyer for some time, and now we'll all get to see what he can do.
Hoyer's only other NFL start came last season with the Cardinals. He completed 19 of 34 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a Week 17 loss to the 49ers.
But if he plays well against the Vikings, we fully expect a full-blown quarterback controversy in Cleveland, where Chudzinski said Weeden's injury isn't a "long-term issue." But Weeden's thumb might be the least of his worries.