BEREA - For the third-straight season, Jeff Faine is going to end his season on injured reserve from an injury he suffered against the Raiders Sunday.
He tore a muscle in his arm in the first half against the Raiders and did not return.
"It looks like Jeff has a torn muscle," Romeo Crennel said. "He'll miss the rest of the year."
Crennel said he has a torn biceps, but will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. He is not concerned that Faine has been injured in each of his three seasons with the Browns.
"I thought he did well," Crennel said. "He played 14 games as the center. He's the leader of the offensive line. He's done a nice job."
Faine suffered an ankle injury after starting his first nine games as a rookie in 2003 and then injured his ankle in the 13th game of the 2004 season, forcing him to again go to injured reserve.
"This is an injury he can return from and be a good player for us," Crennel said.
Mike Pucillo replaced Faine against the Raiders and Crennel expects him to start the final two games. Crennel praised Pucillo for his play against Oakland.
"The other guy you have to give credit to is Mike Pucillo," Crennel said. "He went in at center and went in and blocked who he was supposed to block. It looks like he's the guy who will probably be the guy the rest of the way."
Pucillo, like Faine, is in his fourth NFL season. The 6-4, 311 pounder came out of Auburn and was drafted by the Bills in the seventh-round in the 2002 draft.
The Browns signed Pucillo as a free agent on July 31, 2005 but then released him on Sept. 3. They signed him on Sept. 5 after they traded Melvin Fowler to the Vikings. Pucillo started 12 games for the Bills in 2003 at guard.
Crennel said the Browns haven't decided who will fill Faine's spot on the roster.
"We're looking at our short list to see what we're going to do," he said.
Frye Earns Cudos: Crennel said that rookie QB Charlie Frye continued to improve.
"The young quarterback continues to show he can handle the situations and produce and make some plays," he said. "He got knocked down and got up and made some plays. He was able to help us go down the field and win the game.
"Charlie has been able to handle everything that's been thrown at him," Crennel said. "He's shown he can win on the road. He'll have a real test next week where they'll blitz him.
"Charlie continues to be composed under pressure," Crennel said. "He moves away from it. He took a beating in the game and was able to keep playing. For him to continue to come back and keep his composure and lead was good. He's handled it pretty nicely all the way back to the preseason. He's shown he can lead the team."
Eye of the Beholder: Crennel's best quote of the day: "The game might not have been the prettiest, but it was really beautiful to me."
Crennel Praises Special Teams: "Our special teams might have had their best game of the year for the defense, keeping them inside the 10 and for the offense getting the ball out to near midfield," he said. "They got the game-winning field goal and they blocked the field goal."
Bodden, Fisk Shine: Crennel again singled out the play of CB Leigh Bodden.
"Leigh Bodden continues to play pretty good," he said. "He's coming on and hopefully, that will continue. Another guy who hasn't got a lot of accolades is Jason Fisk. He did pretty good. After getting demoted he stayed the course and played a good game."
Special Cribbs: Crennel said WR/KR Joshua Cribbs has had a good year and solidified his position on the team.
"Cribbs has done a very nice job this year," he said. "He's done a lot to solidify his position on the team."
Cribbs caught his first pass against the Raiders, made a couple of tackles and had a couple of good kickoff returns.
Injury Update: Besides Faine, several players were dinged up but Crennel doesn't think any will miss next week's game with the Steelers.
"Frye got knocked around but nothing major," Crennel said. "His ribs and leg are sore, but he's up and walking. He should be ready to play.
"That was a great hold on his part," Crennel said. "He used the trap technique. If he would have wavered at all it would have been huge and we probably wouldn't be as happy today."
Crennel said one of the reasons the Browns stayed with Richardson earlier in the season when he was struggling as a punter, was because of his holding ability.