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NFL Preseason Preview - Detroit (1-0) at Cleveland (1-0)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - Second-year man Brandon Weeden will try to strengthen his grip on Cleveland's starting quarterback job when the Browns host the Detroit Lions in the "Great Lakes Classic" at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday.

Weeden, a first-round pick out of Oklahoma State in 2012, has taken virtually every first-team repetition in training camp and completed a solid 10-of-13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland's 27-19 preseason opening win against the St. Louis Rams last week.

However, rookie head coach Rob Chudzinski continues to play coy, inferring that veteran Jason Campbell still has a chance in the competition.

"There's a point where I will name a starting quarterback," Chudzinski said. "I am not ready to do it yet."

Third-team signal caller Brian Hoyer also threw a touchdown pass against St. Louis and finished 10-for-14 with 100 yards for the Browns, who are coming off a 5-11 campaign, their fifth straight losing season.

Running back Dion Lewis caught a 2-yard scoring pass from Weeden in the second quarter, and Travis Benjamin returned a punt 91 yards for a score in the contest.

On the injury front for Cleveland, starting right guard Shawn Lauvao underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle last Friday and is expected to miss the first 2-to-3 games of the upcoming regular season.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Lauvao will be sidelined for approximately six weeks, making the Browns' Week 3 matchup at Minnesota on September 22 the best case possibility for a return.

"He'll miss some time early in the season, but I don't have any definitive dates and times on that," said Chudzinski. "We'll just have to see how that goes from the results of the scope and how he'll progress over the next few weeks."

Lauvao had started every game at right guard for the Browns over the past two seasons. His absence puts Jason Pinkston, now over a career-threatening blood clot in his lung, into the conversation as the team's regular at that spot.

Meanwhile, star running back Trent Richardson, who was held out of last week's game against the Rams as a precaution, is expected to play some against Detroit.

"You want guys to want to play," Chudzinski said. "Trent wants to play. At the same time, he trusts us enough that we will make the right decisions of putting him in a position that he will be ready to play opening day."

The Lions also came out on top in their preseason opener, a 26-17 win over the New York Jets in the Motor City.

Backup QB Shaun Hill went 11-for-18 for 136 yards and a touchdown while starter Matthew Stafford was 3-for-8 for 58 yards over two series for the Lions, who finished dead last in the NFC North last year with a 4-12 record.

Calvin Johnson, fresh off his record-setting season in 2012, caught all three of Stafford's completions.

Ziggy Ansah's first defensive series in the NFL proved fruitful as the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass and took it into the end zone from 14 yards out.

The Browns have played Detroit more than any other rival in the preseason (43 times), and are 19-23-1 overall, and 10-6-0 in exhibition home games against the Lions.

08/14 10:26:02 ET


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