Weeden returns to practice

Posted Nov 28, 2012

Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden returned to the practice field Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden left the team’s 20-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with 5:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, and did not return to the game.

At the end of a third-down play, Weeden was thrown to the ground by outside linebacker Jason Worilds and hit his head on left tackle Joe Thomas’ thigh as the five-time Pro Bowler kept Steelers linebacker James Harrison out of the pocket. Weeden was later diagnosed with a concussion and went through the league protocol before returning to the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

“It was mild,” Weeden said of his first concussion. “I never got knocked out. I was conscious the whole time, was just a little foggy. The league’s taking this thing pretty seriously, so you’ve got to go through the mandated steps. I passed all those, so I’m ready to rock and roll.

“I wanted to do everything on my part to come back and play because I felt fine and ready to go, but it’s not like it’s an ankle or a hand. It’s your brain. You’ve got to be smart. That was my first-and-foremost worry, make sure I’m 100 percent before I even think about it. It was going to be hard for me not to make that trip. I’m going to be there and I’m going to play.”

Weeden’s return to the practice field came as no surprise to his teammates, particularly, running back Trent Richardson.

“Brandon was out there today and I knew it wasn’t going to be anything serious,” Richardson said after Wednesday’s practice. “Brandon is a warrior. A lot of people make jokes about his age, but Brandon, he laughs at that type of stuff and gets up and shows us every day that he comes to work.”

During his collegiate career at Oklahoma State University, Weeden played through a high-ankle sprain in the Cowboys’ annual rivalry game against the University of Oklahoma, as well as with a ruptured tendon in his thumb. Although he admitted it takes a lot to get him out of a game, Weeden said he didn’t know the hit resulted in a concussion, but “knew it didn’t feel right.”

“It was kind of a freak deal,” Weeden said. “I thought I hit a helmet when I first hit it. I didn’t know what happened. I came off to the sidelines, was answering all the questions and was good. I was just kind of in a little fog. Being my first one, I didn’t really know what to expect. They were smart, took me back there and did all the mandated tests. Once I got back there, I was like, ‘I don’t feel 100 percent.’”

Even at less than 100 percent, Weeden wanted to leave the locker room after the tests had been administered and return to the sidelines to watch the remainder of the game.

“It was so frustrating,” Weeden said. “I stayed with my uniform on and watched the TV and begged the doctors to just go out on the sideline and experience it, but of course, they wouldn’t let me. I was disappointed about it. I wanted to finish that one, but it was nice to celebrate with the guys afterward in the locker room.”

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