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Need to Know: Cody Kessler set to back up DeShone Kizer vs. Titans

Cody Kessler will be active for the first time this season Sunday when he serves as the backup to DeShone Kizer.

Kessler, who started eight games last season, takes over the No. 2 role from Kevin Hogan, who is dealing with a rib injury he suffered in last week's game against the Texans. Hogan, who made the first start of his NFL career in Houston, threw some during the open portion of Wednesday's practice and was listed as a full participant on the injury report.

"Kevin has fought his tail off," Browns coach Hue Jackson said at his Wednesday press conference. "Last week obviously didn't go as well as he would like or I would like, but I think also, I have also said to all of you that Cody would get his shot at some point and so, I am going to stick Cody in there as the backup quarterback this week and go from there."

Kessler entered training camp as the Browns' No. 1 option but was passed by Kizer and Hogan shortly before the season began. Jackson said the second-year player has remained a motivated and valuable member of Cleveland's young quarterback room.

"He has never quit working. He has never complained. He has never let any of that bother him," Jackson said. "He just kept doing what he needed to do and I told him that day when I made the decision that Kevin was the backup, at some point in time you will get your opportunity, too and that is what I am going to do. I am pretty much a man of my word that way. I like to stick to that. Like I said, this opportunity happened for several different reasons, but I think it is the right one for Cody at this time."

-- Kenny Britt's motivation is at an elevated level as he hopes to return to the field against the team that made him a first-round pick eight years ago.

Britt hasn't played in the last two games because of injuries to his knee and groin. Jackson has stressed he doesn't want Britt to return until he's the "best version of Kenny Britt.

Britt hopes that's who he is Sunday when the Browns face Tennessee, where Britt spent the first five years of his career. Jackson expects it, too.

"A little bit more focus, a little more preparation and a little pep in my step this week," Britt said. "Probably going to get into the training room a lot earlier than I used to for the last couple of weeks to tell you the truth. Just to get out there and be able to play, especially with that guy on the other side of me, Jason McCourty. I know he is fired up and ready to go, too."

McCourty came to Cleveland this past offseason after spending the first eight years of his NFL career in Tennessee. He was a sixth-round pick the year Britt was tabbed as the No. 30 overall pick.

--  Rookie safety Jabrill Peppers has been dealing with a lingering toe injury and was held out of Wednesday's practice. Jackson was optimistic he'd be available at some point this week and ready to go Sunday against the Titans.

Linebacker James Burgess Jr., who missed last week's game with a knee injury, did not practice but could be available Sunday.

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