COMMENTARY | Another year, another quarterback controversy for the Cleveland Browns.
After Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden suffered a sprained right thumb in a Week 2 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the thought was that Cleveland would go with veteran signal-caller Jason Campbell in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Instead, in a week filled with unconventional decisions by Cleveland's hierarchy, third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer was given the nod against Minnesota.
So far, so good, for that decision.
Despite being handicapped by a running back corps that was decimated by the September 18 trade of Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, Hoyer led Cleveland to easily their best offensive effort thus far in 2013, and the Browns shocked the Vikings, 31-27.
Hoyer's success at the Metrodome should have Weeden worried about his job -- and with good reason.
At 29 years of age, Weeden is in just his second NFL season, and he has yet to produce consistent results during his time in the league. Hoyer, even though he is in his fifth NFL season, is still two years younger than Weeden.
When the Browns completely overhauled their front office and coaching staff following a 5-11 season in 2012, it seemed that Weeden's days might be numbered in Cleveland. Weeden, though, was given another shot to prove that he could be the man to lead the Browns back to respectability. Unfortunately, for him, his numbers in the first two games in 2013 were far from spectacular.
Adding to Weeden's woes is the fact that Browns fans have never really warmed up to him during his time in Cleveland. Weeden was named the Browns' starting quarterback prior to the 2012 regular season by then-Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur, an unpopular decision in the eyes of a fan base that was pretty optimistic about the prospects of 2011 starter Colt McCoy.
Hoyer is a native of Northeast Ohio, so that combined with his success on the field already has Browns fans more enthusiastic about him than they were at any point during Weeden's 17 regular season starts.
I was hard-pressed to find any reports on whether or not Weeden will even be ready to go in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the reality of the situation is that Hoyer very likely could be Cleveland's quarterback going forward, even if Weeden is healthy.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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