Pats, Browns forced to turn to third-string QBs
New England Patriots’ thirdstringer Jacoby Brissett was forced into action on Sunday when Jimmy Garoppolo injured his throwing shoulder in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins.
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. » Jacoby Brissett inherited a 21-point lead — and good field position — when he made his NFL debut.
If he makes his first career start against the Houston Texans on Thursday night, things will be a bit more difficult.
The New England Patriots’ third-stringer was forced into action on Sunday when Jimmy Garoppolo injured his throwing shoulder in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins.
With starter Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal, Brissett would be the No. 1 QB against Houston if Garoppolo can’t return from his right shoulder injury in time.
“He’s a smart young kid,” receiver Danny Amendola said on Monday, a day after Brissett came on in relief and helped the Patriots seal a 31-24 victory over the Dolphins.
“I know he hasn’t been in the NFL for a long time, but he seems to grasp what we are trying to do.”
A 23-year-old rookie who was a third-round pick in this year’s draft, Brissett completed 6 of 9 passes for 92 yards against the Dolphins.
The Patriots relied heavily on the run late in the game, though they were also trying to nurse a lead that grew to 24-0 before Brissett even completed his first NFL pass.
“It wasn’t an easy situation, but he did a good job with it,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Monday.
Brissett’s promotion is certainly short-lived: Either Garoppolo gets better quickly and finishes off Brady’s suspension as the starter, or Brissett handles things until Week 5, when Brady is eligible to return.
Neither Belichick nor offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would comment on their plans.
But Brissett knows he needs to be ready.
“The quarterback — he’s going to prepare for the game the same way, regardless of whether he’s going to start the game or not,” Belichick said. “You could take a defensive back and say ... ‘We’re only going to use you in this situation.’ But you can’t do that with a quarterback.”
Browns lose another starting QB as McCown out
BEREA, OHIO » Cleveland’s notorious quarterback carousel has thrown another rider.
Just two weeks into a new season, the Browns are down two starters.
“This is pro football and these things happen,” first-year coach Hue Jackson said. “Maybe not to this degree any place I have been.” Welcome aboard, coach. With Josh McCown out indefinitely after sustaining a “deep sprain” in his left shoulder during Sunday’s loss to Baltimore, the Browns will start rookie Cody Kessler this week at Miami.
McCown’s injury comes just a week after Robert Griffin III broke a bone in his left shoulder during the season opener at Philadelphia and will be sidelined for a minimum of eight games.
Jackson did not provide any specifics about the injury to McCown, who displayed toughness by staying in the game and absorbing several big hits while nearly leading the Browns (0-2) to a comeback win.
All that’s clear is that McCown won’t play this week, and that unless the Browns trade or sign a veteran in the next few days, Kessler will become the 26th starter for Cleveland since 1999 — and fifth in the past five games for the Browns, snake bitten at the game’s most important position.
“Obviously, he is the next guy up,” Jackson said of Kessler, a fouryear starter at USC who struggled during training camp and the exhibition season. “Cody will be out there playing. There is no doubt about that.”
Jackson, though, was vague as he discussed the extent of McCown’s injury, a timetable for his return and any other options at quarterback.
At one point, Jackson joked that he might suit up next for the Browns. Jackson still has his sense of humor, but it could be tested in the coming weeks if the Browns, who play four of their next five games on the road, continue to lose quarterbacks at an alarming rate.
Jackson said Cleveland’s front office will consider signing an experienced QB, and there are some available free agents including Michael Vick, Charlie Whitehurst, Matt Flynn, and T.J. Yates.
Chargers’ Woodhead to miss rest of season with torn ACL
SAN DIEGO » Versatile running back Danny Woodhead went on season-ending injured reserve Monday with a torn ACL in his right knee, the second San Diego Chargers playmaker to be lost in as many weeks.
Woodhead was hurt when he was tackled after a catch in the first quarter of a 38-14 victory against Jacksonville on Sunday.
Woodhead also missed most of the 2014 season with a broken ankle.
Coach Mike McCoy said the loss of Woodhead is similar to the loss of wide receiver Keenan Allen to the same injury a week earlier in a season-opening loss at Kansas City.
“There’s not another Danny Woodhead out there, with what he does in all aspects of the game, not only on the field but off the field, the type of person he is,” McCoy said. “This is another tough one.
“He does everything the way you want it to be done and he is even a better person,” McCoy said. “It is a shame that this happened.
“But I’ll promise you one thing Danny will be back, stronger than ever. That’s why he’s been so successful in this business. He always has that chip on his shoulder. He comes to work every day and treats it as his last day. He is a great example of what it means to be a pro.”
Woodhead led the Chargers last season with 80 catches for 755 yards and six scores, while rushing for 336 yards and three scores.
Also Monday, safety Jahleel Addae was undergoing surgery for a broken left collarbone.
Woodhead was replaced on the active roster by former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Griff Whalen.
The Chargers (1-1) play Sunday at Indianapolis (0-2).