NFL notes: Browns to stick with quarterback Brian Hoyer as starter
Brian Hoyer is on a roll, and the Cleveland Browns aren't about to stop it.
Coach Rob Chudzinski on Monday named Hoyer the starting quarterback for Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Bills. With two wins in two starts since replacing injured Brandon Weeden, Hoyer is the first Browns QB to win his first two starts since Mark Rypien in 1994.
Chudzinski said Weeden has been cleared to play after being sidelined with a sprained right thumb, but the first-year coach is sticking with Hoyer, who led the Browns to a 17-6 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. Chudzinski declined to make Hoyer his starter for the remainder of the season and said he will continue to evaluate the position "week to week."
Hoyer, a well-traveled five-year veteran who went undrafted out of Michigan State, does not have Weeden's high-powered arm, but he has shown composure and control in the pocket and made enough big plays to keep the first-down markers moving. Against the Bengals, he completed 25 of 38 passes for 269 yards and two TDs.
Weeden, from Oklahoma State, was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Around the league
Patriots • Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon in the Patriots' 30-23 win over Atlanta.
Chargers • Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney has a torn quadriceps muscle that could sideline him for several weeks or even the rest of the season. Freeney was hurt in the second quarter of San Diego's 30-21 victory against Dallas on Sunday.
Titans • Quarterback Jake Locker is out with a hip injury, and coach Mike Munchak doesn't know for how long. The coach said Monday that Locker will have another MRI exam Tuesday to diagnose the extent of the injury he suffered Sunday against the New York Jets. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start Sunday's game vs. Kansas City.
Colts • Linebacker Bjoern Werner will miss four to six weeks with a foot injury. Coach Chuck Pagano said Werner tore the plantar fascia during Sunday's 37-3 victory at Jacksonville.