Browns' tribute to Dawson moves 49ers kicker
CLEVELAND — Phil Dawson thought the emotional part of the day was over.
The kicker who spent the first 14 of his 17 years in the NFL with the Browns thought the highlights that ran on the FirstEnergy Stadium scoreboard during pregame would be the only acknowledgment of his return Sunday with the 49ers.
Then with 9:05 left in the first quarter, he was blindsided.
The Browns ran the video again, with a list of his accomplishments. Then a camera captured Dawson alone at the end of the bench. The announced crowd of 63,916 gave him a standing ovation.
Fighting not to tear up, Dawson tapped his heart in response.
"I wanted the people to know how special it was to me and that all the love that was coming my way was mutual," he said.
Dawson, 40, holds Cleveland's franchise record for field goals (305), and is second in scoring (1,271 points). The Browns let him leave in free agency in 2012 though his total of 215 games was one shy of tying Lou Groza for second on the franchise's all-time list.
More Browns: WR Brian Hartline broke his collarbone and is out for the season.
Bengals: S Reggie Nelson had an interception for a fifth straight game, a team record. The former Gator leads the league with eight.
Bills: TE Charles Clay left in the first half with a back injury.
Colts: QB Matt Hasselbeck left late with a rib injury and was replaced by Charlie Whitehurst.
Jaguars: RB T.J. Yeldon left the stadium on crutches but declined to talk about his injury. … Rookie Jason Myers missed his league-leading seventh extra point.
Jets: Rookie WR Devin Smith suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the third quarter. Coach Todd Bowles said Smith was scheduled for an MRI exam today.
Ravens: Jimmy Clausen, starting because both Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub were out injured, became the sixth quarterback since 1950 to start against the same team with two different clubs in one season, according to STATS. The last was Kyle Orton in 2011. Clausen started for the Bears in a loss to Seattle on Sept. 27.
Redskins: TE Derek Carrier left with a right knee injury in the first quarter and is scheduled for an MRI exam today.
Seahawks: The team has led in 61 straight games, an NFL record. … S Kam Chancellor (tailbone) left in the first quarter.
Steelers: The team has won its past nine December games.
Titans: QB Marcus Mariota became the first player since Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton in 1983 to have 40-yard touchdowns on a pass, a rush and a reception in a season.