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Browns confident in Hoyer's abilities

Posted Sep 19, 2013

Brian Hoyer’s coach and teammates are confident he can provide a spark for the Cleveland Browns against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer was named the starter for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings as Brandon Weeden waits for his sprained right thumb, which he suffered in last week’s 14-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, to heal.

Although Hoyer has started only one game in his previous four NFL seasons, he has the confidence and support of his teammates and coach, Rob Chudzinski, who said he chose to start “the guy that gives us the best chance to win.”

“Brian does a number of things well,” Chudzinski said. “Playing in Chicago, he gave us a spark there, and that’s what we’re looking for, a spark. He can make every throw that you need, and there’s no limitations from that standpoint. Brian’s a smart guy. He’s efficient. He can operate. He has a way of making plays.

“I feel like, based on our current situation and where we’re at offensively, as well as getting into the game-planning for Minnesota, that Brian’s strengths are the best for this week and he gives us our best chance to win. The things that he does well fit what we need. I’m expecting him to play well, and I think everything I do and all decisions I make always revolve around giving us the best chance to win.”

After playing alongside and sitting in meeting rooms with him since May, Weeden believes Hoyer can lead the Browns’ offense.

“Brian will do great,” Weeden said. “Brian’s a good player, knows the system, been around (Tom Brady). He’s a good player. I’m excited for him, and I think he’ll do fine.”

Hoyer will be the 11th starting quarterback that six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas will block for during his seven seasons with the Browns, and the multi-time All-Pro is “excited” to see what the fifth-year signal-caller can do.

“I think he showed some good things in the preseason and in practice,” Thomas said. “It’s unfortunate that Brandon’s hurt, but I know Brian’s going to do a good job when he’s in there. He’s going to be well-prepared, and he’s going to give us a great chance to win.

“He’s a really smart player. He’s a guy that plays with great tempo. He throws the ball accurately. He gets the ball out to the guy that needs to get the ball, and I think he’s going to do a great job for us.”

In taking over the starting quarterback job, Hoyer is charged with leading an offense that has scored one touchdown in two games. Having a change of pace under center is what Thomas is looking for against the Vikings.

“When Brian gets in there, we hope he’s a spark for the offense,” Thomas said. “We haven’t put a lot of points on the board in the first few games, and as an offense, it’s our job to score points and help our team win. Hopefully, he’s going to be the guy that can do that for us.”

WEEDEN TO SEE SPECIALIST

After suffering a sprained right thumb, Weeden underwent X-rays, and those came back negative. Now, the second-year quarterback will go for further evaluation Thursday.

“Early indications are that it is not a long-term issue,” Chudzinski said. “Everything has been positive up to this point. He’ll follow up with a hand specialist tomorrow, and we’ll see, get a better indication later this week of where he is with his status going forward.”

INJURY UPDATES

Prior to practice, Chudzinski provided injury updates on defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (calf), offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao (ankle), and linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle). Rubin and Lauvao are close to returning, while Groves is out of the lineup for Sunday.

“Rubin is going to go out, so he’s going to get some work today in practice,” Chudzinski said. “Shawn Lauvao is getting close. He’s going to run again today, and we’ll see where he’s at during the next couple days from a practice standpoint.”