As if the Browns aren't offensively challenged enough, they may lose their most dynamic playmaker for an extended period of time.
Trailing 16-0 with three seconds left in the game, the Browns elected to run a pointless hook-and-ladder (as far as we know, there are no 16-point TDs in football). Kick returner/wide recevier/Wildcat quarterback Josh Cribbs got the ball and lateraled to tight end Robert Royal, but not before getting laid out on a scary hit that required him to be carted off the field and taken to the local hospital for tests for a possible concussion, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Browns head coach Eric Mangini confirmed that Cribbs still had feeling throughout his body.
"Running a play like that when you're down 16 -- what are you trying to prove? I don't understand it. I don't want to say something like that, but heck, it's the truth.
"Bad things happen when you do something like that. When people are running around like crazy, somebody's going to get hurt. Dwan hit him because he had the ball. He didn't try to hurt him. We prayed for Josh. I hope he's OK. He's a great player."
Browns columnist Bud Shaw echoed this sentiment, wondering:
Three seconds left on your half of the field, down 16 points, why do anything except take a knee?
Why the Browns ran a fire drill play that ended with Josh Cribbs carted off the field because his head didn't swivel fast enough goes into the unanswerable file in an unfathomable season, Eric Mangini's first and perhaps only here.
Cribbs has been one of the few bright spots for a Browns team mired in one of their worst seasons since coming back into the league in 1999.