Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden will probably not need surgery on his sprained right thumb and could return sooner than expected.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said after practice on Friday that it's ''highly unlikely'' that the second-year QB will need surgery. Weeden was injured in Sunday's loss at Baltimore. On Thursday, he visited a hand specialist, who confirmed the diagnosis of a sprain and did not find any further damage.
Chudzkinski said the team will re-evaluate Weeden next week and ''play it by ear'' as to when he plays again.
On Wednesday, Chudzinski named third-stringer Brian Hoyer the starter for Sunday in Minnesota, and said Weeden's job was not guaranteed when he returned.
Weeden seemed surprised to learn his job wasn't safe, and Chudzinski said he has spoken to the 29-year-old about the situation.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org