|Battered Browns sign quarterback Caleb Hanie|
|Tuesday, December 03, 2013 9:18 PM|
CLEVELAND — Battered and bruised at quarterback, the Browns have gotten a little healthier.
With Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell recovering from concussions, Cleveland signed quarterback Caleb Hanie on Tuesday, giving coach Rob Chudzinski another option this week at New England.
The Browns considered adding Hanie to their roster last week,but decided to sign Alex Tanney off Dallas’ practice squad. Tanney, perhaps best known for a trick-shot video on YouTube, backed up Weeden on Sunday against Jacksonville. Weeden was diagnosed with a concussion following the 32-28 loss to the Jaguars and is following the NFL’s program for head injuries.
Campbell, who sustained a concussion last week against Pittsburgh, has improved and is moving closer to being ready to play. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Monday that Campbell has been cleared for football activities but not yet for practice. Per league rules, Campbell must first be examined and cleared by an independent physician before he is permitted to return to the field.
Campbell was injured when he was struck in the helmet on a blindside hit by Steelers cornerback William Gay, who wasn’t penalized but was later fined $15,750 by the league.
If Campbell and Weeden are healthy, Campbell would likely get the nod to start. Weeden passed for a career-high 370 yards against Jacksonville but he had two interceptions and a fumble in the final minutes of the first half and the Jaguars converted the three turnovers into 13 points.
The two QBs may need more time to get well and Chudzinski may have to choose between Tanney and Hanie to face the Patriots (9-3) and coach Bill Belichick. Chudzinski may prefer Hanie because he has started four career regular-season games and has more experience than Tanney, who has played only in the exhibition season.
Hanie spent four years backing up Jay Cutler in Chicago and was third on Denver’s depth chart last season behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. The 28-year-old went 0-4 for the Bears in 2011, completing 51-of-102 passes for 613 yards with nine interceptions.
Hanie was signed as a free agent by Baltimore in April and was with the club in training camp before he was released in August.
Cleveland’s coaching staff spent Tuesday putting together a game plan for the Browns, who have dropped three straight, six out of seven and fallen from the playoff race. It’s still not clear who will start at quarterback but at least Chudzinski and his staff have two healthy alternatives in Hanie and Tanney.
It’s been another one of those seasons for the Browns, who can’t seem to catch a break at quarterback. After Weeden was hurt in the team’s second game, Brian Hoyer, who began the season as Cleveland’s No. 3 quarterback, led the team to consecutive wins over Minnesota and Cincinnati before his season-ending knee injury.
Weeden has twice been benched and Campbell, the 20th different starter for the Browns since 1999, stabilized the position before he was injured.
NOTES: The Browns placed linebacker Brandon Magee on injured reserve with a chest injury. He was hurt Sunday against Jacksonville. He appeared in eight games and recorded three special-teams tackles.
Bengals bring back OT Dennis Roland
CINCINNATI — The Bengals brought back offensive tackle Dennis Roland on Tuesday, adding to their depth on their injury-depleted line.
Left guard Clint Boling tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a 17-10 victory in San Diego on Sunday. The Bengals put him on injured reserve Tuesday.
Cincinnati is considering sliding left tackle Andrew Whitworth into Boling’s spot and using Anthony Collins at left tackle, his best position. The Bengals (8-4) host the Colts (8-4) on Sunday. Indianapolis can clinch the AFC South championship with a win on Sunday or a Tennessee loss.
Roland has played for the Bengals since 2008. He played in the first three games this season and was released on Sept. 25. He re-signed with Cincinnati as a free agent.
The Bengals also made a move with their practice squad, signing center Scott Wedige of Northern Illinois. He was on Cincinnati’s practice squad for three weeks last season.
Arizona signed Wedige for the last five weeks of the season and he played in two games. He opened camp with the Cardinals and was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Aug. 20. They waived him three days later.
The Bengals released defensive end Aston Whiteside from the practice squad. Whiteside, from Abilene Christian. Whiteside had been on their practice squad since Nov. 11.