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Originally published December 3, 2014 at 8:23 PM | Page modified December 3, 2014 at 9:39 PM

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Browns sticking with QB Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer came dangerously close to losing his dream job for good.


Seattle Times news services

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BEREA, Ohio — Brian Hoyer came dangerously close to losing his dream job for good.

But after getting the Browns into playoff contention, the team decided that despite his recent mistakes, Hoyer is still their starting quarterback over rookie Johnny Manziel, who may be their future but isn’t ready to handle the present.

The Browns are Hoyer’s team for at least one more Sunday.

“I want to see this thing through,” Hoyer said. “I want to finish this strong.”

Cleveland’s struggling veteran will start again this week against Indianapolis after first-year coach Mike Pettine and his staff decided Hoyer would be the better option down the stretch than Manziel, who flashed some Johnny Football magic last week in a loss at Buffalo.

Hoyer’s poor performance against the Bills — he was pulled for Manziel with 12 minutes left in a 26-10 loss — raised the possibility that Cleveland (7-5) would make another switch at the position. The Browns have had 20 starting quarterbacks since 1999.

Hoyer spent an anxious 48 hours waiting to learn his fate.

“They weren’t the easiest days of my life, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’ve been through a lot, and this is one more thing to handle some adversity and it makes you stronger. It’s back to business as usual.”

Pettine described the decision as difficult because of Hoyer’s performance, but said coaches put more value on his experience and success.

“It wasn’t perfect and he’s made his share of mistakes, but he’s gotten the lion’s share of reps in practice and virtually all of them in games and has us in the thick of a playoff hunt,” Pettine said. “That, to me, was probably the biggest determining factor.”

Pettine said he told both quarterbacks his decision on Wednesday.

Manziel, who led the Browns on an 80-yard touchdown drive he capped with a 10-yard run last week, was understandably disappointed. But the first-round draft pick was encouraged by his time on the field and knows his chance may not be far off.

“Obviously, that’s a decision that’s made by Coach Pettine,” he said. “And this week his answer was, ‘No,’ so moving forward whatever transpires, maybe next time the answer will be, ‘Yes.’ ”

Notes

• Cleveland placed wide receiver Miles Austin on injured reserve after he suffered a kidney injury Sunday. Pettine said the injury is not serious and that Austin is being kept in the hospital for precautionary reasons.

Ben Roethlisberger did not practice amid a report that he has a fractured wrist. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with my wrist,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

• Tennessee rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger said he “definitely” will play Sunday against the New York Giants despite a sprained right shoulder.

• Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray was cleared to play this week against San Francisco after missing the previous game with a concussion.

Adrian Peterson won’t attend the conclusion of his suspension appeal hearing Thursday when NFL executive Troy Vincent is scheduled to testify, AP reported.

Pete Rodriguez, one of the first Hispanic coaches in pro football and a former Seahawks assistant, has died after complications from surgery in San Diego. He was 75. Rodriguez worked for the Raiders, Cardinals, Seahawks, Jaguars and Washington.

• The Buffalo Bills reached an agreement to terminate the four remaining years of their series of games in Toronto.

• Bills running back C.J. Spiller returned to practice for the first time in six weeks since breaking his collarbone.

• The Chicago Bears signed free-agent kicker Jay Feely and said Robbie Gould (quadriceps) is doubtful for Thursday’s home game against the Dallas Cowboys.



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