- The Browns are getting closer toward naming a starting quarterback, but head coach Hue Jackson and Co. have yet to reach a consensus. "I just think you guys know who I am," he said Wednesday. "Until I see guys do certain things at practice, then I'm going to make that decision because it all has to fit. It's not just about one guy. It is about a unit playing together."
Among the candidates to play against the Bengals, of course, is Robert Griffin III, who was cleared to play last week. Because Griffin, who was named the starter in August, hasn't played since the season opener, the Browns are going to carefully evaluate all matters before coming to a decision.
- Rookie safety Derrick Kindred has an injured foot and will miss the remainder of the season. "It's unfortunate," Jackson said. "The guy was really starting to play well."
Kindred, who was subsequently placed on the non-football injury list, suffered the injury during the bye week. "It wasn't anything malicious or anything like that. He did it honestly trying to prepare himself to get back," Jackson said. "He didn't do anything out of sequence that is going to cause us to feel different about him. He just needs to get back. We don't know how long that's going to be so we will kind of go from there."
Jackson added rookie Tracy Howard and veteran cornerback Tramon Williams are potential candidates to play alongside safety Ed Reynolds II.
"We're going to make sure we do everything we can to put the best people back there," he said. "That's why we practice."
- Jackson heaped praise on veteran Joe Thomas, who was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year award nominee.
"You can look from afar and hear all the different stories. I knew how good of a football player he was but I did not know how good of a person he is, as a pro and leader he is in the locker room," Jackson said.
"I think it is important to him. There is not another person in this organization that wants to make this right more than Joe Thomas. The guy has played here for 10 years. I am disappointed for him in the records that he has had. I am a part of that with him. Trust me, I am going to do everything I can to change that. This guy deserves the opportunity to win. He does for what he means to this organization, to this football team and football. He is one of the bests I have ever been around." [
Thomas, who has not missed a snap in his 10-year career in Cleveland, said "it just feels really special to be recognized. I think I have made Cleveland my home and it's a very special city to me, and so part of being in the NFL to me is service and giving back to your community and the people that support you every Sunday."
- Jackson said he's not worried if the Browns were to play rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, who returned from the concussion protocol last week after suffering two such head injuries in the past two months.
"I've talked to him and I feel very comfortable if we put him out there, he will be fine," he said. "I think again, the most important thing is protecting our players to the utmost. I think with the conversations I have had, I think everybody feels very comfortable that, that part is behind him.
"But again, he is a young player. You never know what can happen. Football is a tough game. I know Cody wants to be out there … I am not concerned if that is what you are asking. If we decide to play him, I would not be concerned, sticking him out there."
Kessler, who played in place of an injured Griffin and Josh McCown, has started eight games this season.
- The Browns will host a Bengals team coming off, perhaps, one of its best wins of the season, a 32-14 victory against Philadelphia.
"They are starting to play really well," Jackson said. "I have watched the team obviously quite a few times because they are in our division. They are starting to get a little hot."
The Bengals, who before last weekend's win had lost three straight games, topped Cleveland, 31-17, back in October in Cincinnati.