Brian Hoyer has been named the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns for Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Bills, head coach Rod Chudzinski announced Monday. Brandon Weeden has been cleared to play, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beach Journal, but Hoyer has played well on his way to helping the Browns win two consecutive games. It appears that Weeden will now have to try to win his job back.
The Browns beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals had arguably been the AFC North's best team through the first three weeks of the season, but they were stifled by the Browns' defense, and Hoyer provided enough offense -- going 25-for-38 passing for 269 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions -- to give Cleveland a 17-6 win.
Perhaps most impressively, Hoyer led a game-clinching drive late in the fourth quarter for a second consecutive week. Up 10-6, the Browns went 91 yards in 12 plays, and ate up 6:37 on the game clock on a touchdown drive that was capped by a 1-yard pass from Hoyer to running back Chris Ogbonnaya. Hoyer went 5-for-5 passing on the drive, which included a 31-yard pass to tight end Jordan Cameron to put the Browns on the 24-yard line.
Chudzinski maintains that the quarterback competition will remain week-to-week, but as of now, the starting job appears to be Hoyer's to lose. If Hoyer remains mistake free and efficient, he could close out the season behind center.