BALTIMORE – Just when it seemed nothing could possibly get worse for the struggling Cleveland Browns offense, Brandon Weeden was forced out of the game with an injured right thumb.
And so, Cleveland’s 11th straight loss to the Baltimore Ravens, 14-6 on Sunday, took an even darker tone.
Weeden left late in the fourth quarter.
I hit it on a helmet on one of the last plays of the drive, Weeden said. I found I couldn’t grip the ball, so I had to come out. It really hurts. The X-rays are negative, so that’s a good thing.
There was nothing good about the way the Browns (0-2) performed on offense. Cleveland failed to score a touchdown and generated only 85 yards of offense in the second half after taking a 6-0 lead into halftime. Receivers dropped several passes and Cleveland twice turned the ball over on downs.
Three times, the offense was called for delay of game.
We’re just off a little bit. The guys are working on it and I feel like there’s improvement being made, first-year coach Rob Chudzinski said. But it’s not good enough and it needs to be better. And that’s what we’ll do.
If Weeden can’t play against Minnesota, that could leave Jason Campbell as the starter. In this one, Campbell entered with 3:34 left and Cleveland backed against its own goal line.
It’s one of the toughest situations to be in, Campbell said. But from here on out, you have yourself an opportunity. ... I’ll prepare this week like I’m going to be the guy. Hopefully, Weed’s going to be OK. If not, I’m ready.
Campbell moved Cleveland to its own 28 before the Browns ran out of downs. The Ravens held the ball the rest of the way.
Weeden went 21 for 33 for 227 yards. He was sacked five times.
Down 6-0 at halftime, Baltimore (1-1) took the lead on a 5-yard run by Bernard Pierce with 5:13 left in the third quarter. The Ravens added a touchdown with 8:57 remaining on a 5-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Marlon Brown.
Flacco, whose wife gave birth to the couple’s second child about an hour before kickoff, went 22 for 33 for 211 yards.