EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown left with a head injury after taking a hard hit late in the first quarter against the New York Jets.
Johnny Manziel came in to replace McCown, who was listed as probable after throwing in practice last Monday for the first time since Aug. 23 because of elbow tendinitis. He has not played since the second preseason game Aug. 19 against Buffalo.
McCown was hurt when he was hit by Calvin Pryor and Demario Davis while coming up just short of the goal line on third-and-goal from the Jets 14.
McCown dived for the goal line, but was hit hard simultaneously by Davis and Pryor, and the ball came loose and went out of the end zone for a touchback.
The Jets’ Antonio Cromartie picked up the football and zipped it into the MetLife Stadium stands.
The Browns were leading into the second quarter, but the Jets tied it up at 7 with about 9 minutes left in the half.
The Jets really took off in the second half, scoring 10 points in the third to increase their lead to 24-10 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was another bad one for the Browns, allowing the Jets to score once again.
The Browns started last season 6-3 before stumbling badly down the stretch, but their 7-9 mark was still their best since 2007. Cleveland has a ton of questions on both sides of the ball with a run defense that ranked last in the NFL a season ago and no go-to running back. Bowles and the Jets, however, seem to have all the answers to make a playoff push except at quarterback where the onus falls on Fitzpatrick, who is 34-56-1 as an NFL starter.