BEREA – The Luke McCown era will take another step forward Sunday when the rookie quarterback starts for the Browns against the Buffalo Bills.
Interim coach Terry Robiskie announced Wednesday that McCown will get the call against the Bills. Jeff Garcia, who missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, is 90 percent healthy, but that didn’t change Robiskie’s mind.
“We met with the training department and talked about Jeff, and they felt like Jeff was about 90 percent ready to go, but we as a coaching staff saw Luke play last week and do some good things,” Robiskie said. “We made the decision that we’re going to go with Luke another week and see if he can compete a little bit against a pretty good football team. They’re not the world champion, but Buffalo is a pretty good football team.”
Garcia skipped a rehab appointment Tuesday. He also didn’t attend meetings Tuesday as the coaches put in the game plan. Players are off Tuesdays, but the quarterbacks usually attend meetings to get a jump-start on preparing for the opponent.
Robiskie seems inclined to go with McCown for the remainder of the season. Another possibility is Kelly Holcomb, but he has three cracked ribs that have yet to heal.
“Jeff understands that Luke had to go in last weekend,” Robiskie said. “We thought that Luke went in and played extremely well under the conditions. We wanted to keep him in this week and see if he can keep going. I can’t say that he’s going to be the quarterback for the next 10 years.
“The kid was very poised and did a great job of going out there and handling the offense. There were no offsides. There were no delay-of-game penalties. With his cadence, I don’t remember any of the linemen jumping offsides. We just want to see if he can continue to grow.”
FAINE HOBBLING: Center Jeff Faine missed Wednesday’s practice with a shin injury suffered against New England.
“I took a pretty good shot,” Faine said. “I aggravated some muscles and nerves down there. It’s coming back to normal, and it’s feeling fine.”
SUGGS STILL SIDELINED? Running back Lee Suggs is questionable with a turf-toe injury. Suggs said the injury isn’t as serious as the toe injury that has sidelined receiver Andre Davis for the remainder of the season. Turf toe is basically a hyperextension.
FULLBACK ABSENT: Terrelle Smith, whose father died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer, missed Wednesday’s practice. Smith learned of his father’s death last Friday. He remained in the area and played against New England, but he left to fly to Los Angeles immediately after the game.
INJURY REPORT: Browns safety Chris Crocker is out with an elbow injury. Crocker feared at first that the injury was a torn pectoral muscle. Listed as questionable are Holcomb, cornerback Michael Lehan (hamstring) and cornerback Daylon McCutcheon (shoulder). Listed as probable are Faine, Garcia, linebacker Barry Gardner (cervical stinger) and tight end Keith Heinrich (toe).
Former Browns tight end Mark Campbell tore an anterior cruciate ligament and is out for the remainder of the season for the Bills. Also out is running back Travis Henry (ankle). Tight end Tim Euhus (knee) is doubtful, and cornerback Troy Vincent (knee) is questionable. Tight ends Jonas Jennings (shoulder) and Mike Williams (knee) are probable.