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Browns QB Cody Kessler left game with chest injury after disastrous play

Cody Kessler did not return to the game, and both Charlie Whitehurst and Terrelle Pryor got time at quarterback.

NFL: New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler got out to a good start Sunday, but suffered an injury on a play that turned into a safety to give the New England Patriots a 16-7 lead.

Kessler was hit on the play by Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, forcing an errant, backwards throw that went out of bounds in the end zone for a safety. He was evaluated on the sideline for only a few moments before heading to the locker room and the Browns ruled him questionable to return with a chest and ribs injury before eventually ruling him out early in the second half.

Prior to the injury, Kessler completed five of eight passes against the Patriots for 62 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Hawkins.

Kessler was already the third option for the Browns at quarterback after Robert Griffin III was injured in Week 1 and Josh McCown was injured in Week 2. The next man up on the roster for Cleveland is Charlie Whitehurst, who previously spent time with the San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans.

However, the Browns instead went with another option on the first drive after Kessler left.

For the first two snaps of the subsequent drive, Terrelle Pryor, a former quarterback at Ohio State who began his NFL career at the position before switching to wide receiver, was the quarterback, although he ran on both plays. The Browns have already toyed with the formation some and Pryor finished Week 3 with five passes, three of which were completed for 35 yards.

Charlie Whitehurst came in at quarterback, completing 14 of 24 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but then limped off the field. The team announced that Whitehurst had a knee injury and was probable to return, which he did.

While Whitehurst was briefly sidelined, Pryor filled in once again at quarterback for the Browns. Pryor completed one of three passes for five yards and no touchdowns, and ran the ball twice for three yards. Cleveland lost to the Patriots with a final score of 33-13.