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(UPDATED) Browns QB Josh McCown excited for another chance, to start Sunday vs. Jets — "It is going to be fun"

BEREA — Josh McCown got emotional following his start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 18. As his left arm dangled with a broken collarbone, he talked about how each chance to play was precious, especially at age 37.
Six weeks later, he’s got another opportunity.
With rookie Cody Kessler still in the concussion protocol and McCown proving in practice he’s ready, coach Hue Jackson made it official Friday. McCown will start Sunday against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“It is going to be fun,” he said. “You want to be in this thing to make some plays. To be back out there is exciting.”
Kessler, who started the last five games, was hoping to be cleared but remained in the league’s protocol. He was injured in the second quarter last Sunday in a 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals when defensive lineman Domata Peko’s shoulder caught his helmet.
So McCown will play for the first time since the 25-20 loss to the Ravens in Week 2. He has practiced for three weeks but was only cleared for contact this week.
McCown went 20-for-33 for 260 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and an 80.4 rating against the Ravens. He was devastated when the injury forced him out of the lineup.
“Obviously, it was frustrating,” he said. “I was hoping it heals fast to be back out there. It was frustrating because we lost the game and in the matter in which we did.
“When you are injured, you have a lot of time to think about that. It fuels your fire for whenever you can come back, and it gets you excited about the opportunity to get back out there again.”
“He showed tremendous poise and toughness and played through the game,” Jackson said. “Hopefully we’ll go out and protect him and give him a chance to lead this team.
“It is good to get him back out there playing. We are looking forward to watching him play.”
Cornerback Joe Haden noticed a difference at practice Wednesday with McCown back taking the first-team reps.
“There was a jolt of energy basically for everybody because he’s a guy that you love to have on your team,” Haden said. “He loves the game. He’s such a competitor, so smart, he runs the offense very, very well. So when you have him under center, you feel like you definitely have a really good chance to win any game that we go into.”
McCown went only 1-7 as the starter last year but played much better than the record indicates. He completed 64 percent for 2,109 yards, 12 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 93.3 rating.
“It is a comfort for us because we know we have a veteran back there who has been through so many different battles,” run game coordinator Kirby Wilson said. “He is tried and tested.
“It definitely eases you from a standpoint of will we have control of the game, will we have a complete understanding of what they are doing to us when they are going to do it. When you have a veteran, he can anticipate those things and relay that to the rest of the offense moving forward.”
The Browns have used six quarterbacks in seven games, including three starters. McCown missed time last year with a concussion, broken ribs and a broken right collarbone.
Jackson wants both trends to stop.
“Hue is right. You have to keep yourself healthy,” McCown said. “If there are moments when you can avoid unnecessary hits, you have to do that. You have to throw the ball away, slide, all those things.”
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or [email protected] Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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