Browns QB Campbell to start against Patriots

TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer Published:

BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Jason Campbell's headaches are gone, and for the moment so are Cleveland's pains at quarterback.

Campbell has been cleared to play after sitting out one game with a concussion and will start on Sunday when the Browns visit the New England Patriots.

Campbell practiced for the second day in a row Friday, and after the workout said he's ready to resume what has been a "rollercoaster season" for him and his teammates.

"I feel great," said Campbell, who was injured on Nov. 24 on a blindside hit by Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay.

Campbell said he suffered the second concussion of his NFL career when he was blasted in the face mask by a blitzing Gay. Campbell doesn't believe Gay's hit was a "cheap" shot and that he was trying to duck out of the way when he was struck.

Gay was not penalized on what turned out to be a game-swinging play, but he was fined $15,750 last week by the league for unnecessarily delivering a "forcible blow to his opponent's head and neck area."

Campbell waited patiently for his chance to start for the Browns (4-8). He was passed on the depth chart by Brian Hoyer earlier this season, and then suffered bruised ribs in a game against Cincinnati. The concussion was another setback, but the 31-year-old was determined to get back and finish the season.

"It's very important," he said. "It's frustrating to have to sit at the house last week because you haven't played all season and all of a sudden you get a chance to play and everything is all about rhythm and getting a chemistry with the guys. I just felt like sometimes things happen for a reason but it was tough sitting down.

"I think was important to get back playing but at the same time there is a life after football and I wanted to make sure that part was handled correctly before I got back on the field."

Campbell missed last week's game against Jacksonville and was cleared to practice for the first time since the injury on Thursday. Per the NFL's protocol on head injuries, Campbell had to get permission from an independent neurologist before he could practice or play.

The Browns' quarterback situation became more muddle when Brandon Weeden, filling in for Campbell last week, sustained a concussion in the loss to the Jaguars. Weeden is allowed to take part in football activities but not to practice.

With Campbell and Weeden recovering, the Browns signed free agent Caleb Hanie earlier this week. Last week, they signed Alex Tanney off Dallas' practice squad last week. Hanie started four games for Chicago in 2011. Tanney has never taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski did not say whether Hanie or Tanney will back up Campbell this week.

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