Broken finger sidelines Browns’ Quinn for season

Published 12:10 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Browns quarterback Brady Quinn will miss the remainder of Cleveland’s season with a broken right index finger he made worse by playing on Sunday, according to several reports.

Citing unnamed sources, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer said the break on Quinn’s finger worsened after he tried to play through the injury on Sunday in a loss to the Houston Texans. Quinn initially broke the tip of the finger and damaged a tendon in his second career start on Nov. 17 at Buffalo.

Quinn flew to Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday to have the injury examined by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. The second-year QB was then advised by Andrews as well as specialists brought in by the Browns to end his season with five games left before the tendon tore from the bone.

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Last week, Quinn was presented with three options: play through pain, immobilize the break for 4-to-6 weeks or have surgery, the Plain Dealer reported.

‘‘Brady wanted to play,’’ the source told the paper. ‘‘If it was going to be fixed a week ago, it would have been virtually the same thing. Nobody had any idea what would happen if he’d just gone out and played with it. Doctors viewed it before then and thought he was OK to play.’’

Quinn is now debating whether to have surgery.

Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz told the Associated Press that Quinn will meet with medical personnel and the coaching staff on Wednesday morning and that coach Romeo Crennel will update Quinn’s injury during his 11 a.m. news conference.

If Quinn can’t play, Derek Anderson, who lost his starting job to Quinn three weeks ago, will start Sunday when the Browns host the Indianapolis Colts.

Browns general manager Phil Savage did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Quinn’s agent, Tom Condon, did not return phone calls.

Quinn was benched in the fourth quarter on Sunday by Crennel after throwing two interceptions in Cleveland’s 16-6 loss to the Texans. Crennel said he put in Anderson, his former starter and a Pro Bowler last season, to spark the team and because of misreads by Quinn as well as his injury.

Quinn refused to blame the injury after the game for his poor performance — 8 of 18 for 94 yards — and was puzzled by Crennel’s decision to pull him with the game still in doubt.

Despite the sudden benching, Crennel said Quinn had not lost his job and that he would start against the Colts.

Quinn’s injury is the latest drama to befall the 4-7 Browns, who have been a major disappointment this season after winning 10 games in 2007.

In addition to an assortment of injuries, wide receiver Braylon Edwards has dropped crucial passes; tight end Kellen Winslow criticized the team for its handling of his hospitalization for a staph infection and was briefly suspended; Quinn took over for Anderson; and Savage sent a fan a profane e-mail.

On Wednesday, owner Randy Lerner spoke to the media for the first time in more than a year and said he would wait until after the season before deciding on the future of Crennel and Savage.

The Browns wanted to spend the remainder of the season to evaluate, the former Notre Dame star who they drafted with the No. 22 overall pick in 2007. Although Browns fans wanted to see the popular Quinn sooner, he didn’t make his NFL debut until the season finale last season and was Anderson’s backup for the first eight games before making his first start on Nov. 6 against Denver.