Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Ben Roethlisberger active Monday night

Ben Roethlisberger is offically active for Monday night. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We mentioned first thing Monday morning that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would start on Monday night in San Francisco. There was some concern that Ben would be a game-time decision throughout the day, but he's officially active for Pittsburgh now.

It was widely assumed that Roethlisberger would start once Baltimore lost to San Diego on Monday; a win on Monday against the 49ers would give the Steelers a serious leg up on chasing the No. 1 seed in the AFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

But it remains to be seen if Ben can be effective on the field. Expect the Steelers to play ball control and try to move the rock on the ground in order for Roethlisberger to minimize any hits.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Candlestick Park to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. Join James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason as they break down this upcoming matchup.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 12:46 pm

Goodell: NFL wants doc eyeing game 'at all times'

By Will Brinson

Last Thursday night, Colt McCoy suffered a nasty concussion that's stirred up plenty of debate about the NFL's policy for how teams handle on-field medical evaluation, because McCoy was never tested for a concussion yet he had one and still came back in the game.

Roger Goodell spoke with CBS Sports James Brown during a "Conversations with CBS Sports" sit down and said that the league is committed to keeping a doctor on hand to watch and then evaluate plays in which a player suffers an injury like McCoy's.

"I think that's one of the keys, JB," Goodell said. "We want to make sure someone -- a medical professional -- has his eyes on that field at all times and can see when an injury occurs to somebody so that the proper medical care is being given."

Presumably, said doctor will be positioned up high near the press and/or coaches box, but sequestered enough to ensure objectivity. He or she will then watch the game and have access to replays and slow-motion footage to ensure that a player who might have suffered a concussion won't be allowed to return to the game until properly and objectively evaluated.

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Posted on: December 17, 2011 6:46 pm

Pouncey out, Ben questionable for MNF at 49ers

Big Ben limps down the steps to the locker room after Pittsburgh beat Cleveland last Thursday. (AP)

By Will Brinson

The Steelers wrapped up Saturday's practice and there's some good news/bad news for Pittsburgh relating to Monday's game agianst the 49ers. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was limited in practice and is questionable to play Monday in San Francisco. However, center Maurkice Pouncey, dealing with an ankle injury, has been ruled out.

Week 15 Preview

Roethlisberger suffered a high ankle injury last Thursday in a 14-3 win over Cleveland but eventually returned to lead the Steelers to a victory over the Browns.

Much of the talk about whether or not Ben should play revolves around not Monday and/or how he's feeling then, but rather Sunday night.

That's when the Ravens and Chargers play, and if San Diego can win, it sure seems like Roethlisberger becomes more likely to play. After all, a Baltimore loss plus a Pittsburgh win on Monday means the Steelers are tracking for the top seed in the AFC.

A Baltimore win, though, and it's going to ridiculously tough for the Steelers to top the Ravens in the standings.

Of course, Roethlisberger's not exactly known for not playing hurt -- a lot of teammates believe that he plays better when he's injured, and we're not inclined to disagree.

So if you see him suit up on Monday, don't be shocked despite reports that his ankle hurts worse now than it did when he returned to the game against the Browns.

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:48 pm

Colt McCoy sent home with concussion, out Sunday

By Will Brinson

The Browns are taking a more cautious approach with McCoy this week. (Getty Images)

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy took a nasty hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison on Thursday of Week 14 (Harrison was suspended a game for the hit and his appeal was denied Friday) and the concussion he suffered when Harrison decleated him was the subject of a major controversy because the Browns allowed him to return.

There won't be any controversy this week, as McCoy was seen leaving practice in his pickup truck on Friday. The Browns sent the quarterback home with concussion symptoms for the fourth time this week and have ruled the quarterback out for Sunday's game.

Backup Seneca Wallace, who's completed 100 percent of his passes this season, will get the start for Cleveland, who's looking to avoid a four-game losing streak when they travel to Arizona on Sunday.

McCoy won't even make the trip to Arizona, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said, and that's a good thing. As much flak as the Browns (rightfully) received for missing McCoy's concussion on a pretty obvious play, they deserve credit for making sure that their erstwhile franchise quarterback isn't being rushed back out on the field.

Additionally, the Browns announced that tight end Ben Watson, who's suffered three concussions this season, was going on injured reserve, ending his season.

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 9:00 am
Edited on: December 15, 2011 2:06 pm

Browns Taylor fined $15K for hit on Big Ben

"Man!! ... After while the NFL will be 2 hand touch," Taylor tweeted Wednesday. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

James Harrison and Colt McCoy were the storylines from last Thursday's Browns-Steelers game. The Steelers linebacker blasted the Browns quarterback; the former was eventually suspended while the latter was immediately concussed. But Harrison wasn't the only player to be fined in that game. Browns rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor is now $15,000 lighter in the wallet for his hit to Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The penalty took place late in the first quarter with the Steelers leading the Browns, 7-3, and facing a 3rd and 9 from their own 11-yard line. Taylor drove Pittsburgh left guard Doug Legursky into the backfield and just as Roethlisberger released the ball, Taylor hit him in the helmet with his left arm.

Clearly, Taylor was trying to bat down the pass, and clearly, Taylor missed. The blow to Roethlisberger's head knocked him to the ground, and referee Ed Hochuli promptly flagged Taylor for roughing the passer.

"Really no question on that one," NFL Network color commentator Mike Mayock said at the time.

"That one might be a paycheck," play-by-play man Brad Nessler added.

And that's exactly what happened. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot, Taylor, who will appeal, said he "only put [his] hands up," and that he "doesn't deserve [the] fine."

In general, we think that the NFL has embraced the "throw the flag first, ask questions later" enforcement strategy and it's led to some bad officiating. And the league's fining schedule appears to be written in pencil. But it's hard to argue that Taylor clubbing Roethlisberger in his head wasn't a) a personal foul and b) fine-worthy.

It's hard to argue that Taylor didn't deserve to be flagged and a fined.

This was the second time Taylor had been fined this season. He was docked $7,500 for a hit on Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne back in Week 3. On Wednesday, Taylor tweeted, "Man!! All these fines is crazy! After while the NFL will be 2 hand touch."

Colt McCoy sure wishes that was the case.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:57 pm

Holmgren: Colt McCoy never checked for concussion

By Will Brinson

The controversy surrounding the Browns handling of Colt McCoy on Thursday against Pittsburgh -- he re-entered the game after sustaining a concussion -- received a lot of scrutiny, and it will probably get worse, as the Browns said on Wednesday that McCoy was never checked for a concussion during the game.

Team president Mike Holmgren said, via our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin, that there was "no indication" that McCoy suffered a concussion and so McCoy was never checked out prior to being sent back into the huddle.

Additionally, Holmgren said the medical staff never saw the hit James Harrison laid on McCoy (one that eventually led to a one-game suspension), which "would have alerted them to a possible concussion."

James Harrison suspended

The fact that the coaching and medical staff missed the hit on Harrison is both disturbing and hard to believe -- Harrison was flagged on the play and McCoy didn't exactly pop right up and walk off on his own power immediately.

If the team has a process for reviewing plays (in replay instances), that same process should have caught the distinct possibility that McCoy suffered a concussion and someone should have alerted the coaching staff.

Holmgren added that it wasn't "business as usual" for the Browns to handle the concussion this way, and reports are that Cleveland was concerned with other players who were also dealing with concussions. He also called the Browns medical staff "the best in the NFL," and said they felt that McCoy was "lucid and talking" when they met with him on the sidelines.

It's fantastic that the Browns are being honest about the process now, but figuring out how they missed a potential diagnosis of a concussed quarterback that was obvious to anyone sitting at home is still hard to grasp.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:07 pm

McCoy's dad angry at Browns; NFL 'will review'

By Will Brinson

On Friday's podcast, Ryan Wilson and I wondered whether or not Browns quarterback Colt McCoy should have re-entered the game against the Steelers on Thursday night (a contest Cleveland would ultimately lose anyway).

We weren't the only ones curious -- McCoy's father believes his son "never should've gone back in the game" and the Browns never checked the quarterback for a concussion on the sideline.

"He never should've gone back in the game,'' Brad McCoy told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "He was basically out [cold] after the hit. You could tell by the rigidity of his body as he was laying there. There were a lot of easy symptoms that should've told them he had a concussion. He was nauseated and he didn't know who he was. From what I could see, they didn't test him for a concussion on the sidelines. They looked at his [left hand.''

CBSSports.com reached out to the Browns first thing on Friday morning for a comment on the decision to put McCoy back in the game but as of this writing hadn't heard back.

An NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com that "We will review [the decision] with the team." The league would not speculate on any potential disciplinary outcomes for Cleveland based on the findings of their sideline medical evaluation.

Our initial decision to inquire about the decision to the team stemmed from a report that the Browns public relations team asked reporters to not use flashes on their cameras during McCoy's press conference. McCoy's father pointed to that as a problem as well.

"After the game, the [public relations staff] made sure Colt's interview was brief and he couldn't face the lights in his press conference,'' Brad said. "The TV lights and the stadium lights were killing him. Why would you say he was fine? That makes it even worse.''

The NFL's review of this incident will be interesting. According to Brad McCoy, his son told him that he didn't remember losing the game or playing in

"I wouldn't have put him back in the game," Browns coach Pat Shurmer said when asked about whether or not McCoy exhibited concussion symptoms. "I definitely don't want to put a player out there that's putting himself at risk if we know it.''

According to Shurmur, per Cabot, McCoy didn't begin exhibiting concussion symptoms until he was "leaving the locker room." Shurmur now says the Browns are "proceeding" as if McCoy has a concussion but insists that the Browns didn't know about it when he returned to the game.

"I feel very confident that if he wasn't able to play we would have stopped him," Shurmur said. "I can assure everyone that we followed protocol."

Shurmur also said that McCoy told the Browns coach "I'm ready to go" and added that he understood Brad McCoy's stance since Shurmur is also the father of a young quarterback.

Now seems like a good a time as any to remind folks that the NFL should look into researching and developing a sideline, handheld and objective concussion test.

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Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:40 pm

Pick-Six Podcast: Week 14 NFL preview

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The Steelers handled the Browns on Thursday night, but it was a bizarre game -- on today's podcast we break down Ben Roethlisberger's injury, how he managed to keep playing, whether the Steelers should be concerned, and if James Harrison is going to get fined and/or suspended.

Then we take a spin around the NFL action scheduled for Sunday, wondering if Oakland is a sleeper to take down Green Bay (no, really!), if Chris Johnson can keep running against the Saints, whether the Falcons are playoff-worthy, if Tim Tebow can take down the Bears, if Jim Schwartz can wrangle the Lions and whether we'd rather have Tony Romo or Eli Manning for the rest of their careers.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com