Quarterback Brandon Weeden replaced injured starter Brian Hoyer and rallied the Cleveland Browns to a 37-24 win Thursday night over the visiting Buffalo Bills, who also lost starting rookie quarterback EJ Manuel with a knee injury.
Weeden threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter as the Browns (3-2) won their third straight and temporarily moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
"You can only control what you can control," Weeden said. "I'm just sticking my neck on the line for this football team. I prepared like I was starting, but it was tough with zero reps the last two weeks. I was a little rusty to start."
Safety T.J. Ward (De La Salle High) intercepted rookie Jeff Tuel's pass and returned it 44 yards for a TD with 1:44 left to end any comeback hopes for the Bills (2-3).
Hoyer sustained a potentially serious right knee injury on a scramble in the first quarter, and Manuel was forced out after taking a helmet to his right knee on a run in the third. Neither returned, and their injuries could impact both teams' seasons.
After the game, Hoyer left the stadium on crutches with his knee immobilized. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Hoyer has a sprained knee and will undergo an MRI on Friday. But the tone of Hoyer's teammates seemed to indicate he might be sidelined for an extended period.
Bills coach Doug Marrone said the doctors told him Manuel has a sprained knee and will have an MRI.
Also, Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant, a former Raider, was taken to the Cleveland Clinic in the third quarter after experiencing shortness of breath.
Broncos: Jack Del Rio only wanted to talk about the Cowboys, not the Trojans. In his first for-the-record comments since his name's been bandied about as a possible replacement for Lane Kiffin at USC, Del Rio declined to address speculation he might return to his alma mater.
Asked if he'd been contacted by USC, the Denver defensive coordinator said, "No. No. No, there's nothing to speak on that subject. I'm really here to talk about the Cowboys and our preparation in getting ready for them."
Kiffin was fired Sunday and replaced by interim coach Ed Orgeron, but Del Rio's name quickly rose to the top of the rumor mill as a potential replacement because of his ties to USC, where he was an All-America linebacker in the 1980s.
Seahawks: New Seattle backup quarterback B.J. Daniels said his signing after being waived by the 49ers is not a gamesmanship maneuver by the Seahawks.
"I don't agree with that at all," Daniels said. "Throughout my draft process, I had Seattle come and work me out in a private workout. I actually thought this was one of the places I was potentially going to get drafted to. Obviously, it worked out that I'm here."
Colts: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is contemplating having season-ending surgery on his injured neck or letting the injury heal on its own, a person with knowledge of the medical options told The Associated Press.