Browns explain call on QB

BEREA, Ohio — Although James Harrison's illegal hit on Colt McCoy was witnessed by millions on television and thousands at Heinz Field, Cleveland's medical staff did not realize the severity of the blow when it treated the Browns quarterback.

That was the explanation given by team president Mike Holmgren on Wednesday, one day after NFL medical officials and representatives of the players association met with the Browns to discuss the team's handling of McCoy's head injury and possible changes to the league's policies on concussions.

Holmgren does not expect the league to penalize the Browns, who did not know McCoy had a concussion when they sent him back into last week's game.

Holmgren explained that McCoy was not given a standardized concussion test because he wasn't showing symptoms. "Their reaction to the way Colt was acting did not dictate that," he said. "They had not seen the play, and he was talking, answering, knew how much time was left. So his response, following our normal protocol, did not dictate they administer the test."

The team's medical and training staffs did not see the hit because they were working on other players. Holmgren said: "Then, they heard a crowd reaction. Someone said, 'Colt's down.' "

McCoy was evaluated by medical personnel and trainer Joe Sheehan, who told coach Pat Shurmur the QB was "good to go."

Fisher interested in openings: Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, whose name keeps popping up in connection with both current and speculated coaching vacancies, is interested in hearing from teams, according to his agent, Marvin Demoff. The agent told the Miami Herald that Fisher "will listen to anyone."

New owner for Jags: The sale of the Jaguars to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan was unanimously approved by team owners, making the Pakistani-born Khan the NFL's first minority owner. The sale of the franchise from Wayne Weaver was reportedly for $760 million.

Texans Assistant out: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will take a medical leave to have surgery this week to resolve a kidney condition that he said was not life-threatening. Phillips, 64, would not specify the condition, but he said he will be away for a week to 10 days.

Chiefs: Interim coach Romeo Crennel named Kyle Orton the starting quarterback, replacing Tyler Palko in the wake of coach Todd Haley's firing.

Eagles: Quarterback Michael Vick (sore ribs) just watched afternoon practice, but coach Andy Reid said he's confident Vick would face the Jets.

Rams: Quarterback Sam Bradford (high left ankle sprain) did not practice, so Kellen Clemens appears more likely to start Sunday against the Bengals.

Steelers: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's sprained left ankle remained in a walking boot, so backups Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon are preparing as if they'll play on Monday.

Browns explain call on QB 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 11:09pm]

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