CLEVELAND – Brian Hoyer’s story, seemingly pulled from a Disney movie script, has taken a cruel turn.
The Cleveland quarterback’s season is over.
A lifelong Browns fan living out his boyhood dream by starting for his hometown team, Hoyer tore a knee ligament while running for a first down in Thursday night’s 37-24 victory over Buffalo that gave Cleveland (3-2) the AFC North lead.
It is a devastating blow for Hoyer, who had waited five years — three as Tom Brady’s backup in New England — to become a starter and led the Browns to victories over Minnesota and Cincinnati while replacing injured Brandon Weeden.
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“It’s an unfortunate thing,” coach Rob Chudzinski said Friday.
Chudzinski said an MRI showed Hoyer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Hoyer will undergo surgery, ending his feel-good story after three starts.
“It’s hard on him,” said Chudzinski. “Obviously he’s disappointed, but if you know him you know how positive he is and the type of person he is. He’s already thinking about when he’s going to be back.”
Chudzinski said Weeden will return as Cleveland’s starter.
League fines 2 Jetsfor hitting Titans’ Locker
NEW YORK – Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and defensive end Quinton Coples of the New York Jets were fined a combined $23,625 for hits that injured Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker.
Locker, a former Washington Huskies standout, will miss at least a few games because of hip and right-knee knee sprains.
Wilkerson got a $15,750 fine for roughing the passer and Coples was docked $7,875 for a late hit on Locker on the same play in Tennessee’s 38-13 victory Sunday.
On Monday, Titans coach Mike Munchak talked with league officials about the hits.
“The first one (by Wilkerson) was, he dropped his helmet into him and unloaded on him, which you’re supposed to pull back when you’re late,” Munchak told media. “The second one (by Coples) was totally unnecessary.”
Titans safety Michael Griffin was fined $21,000 for a hit on Stephen Hill that gave Hill a concussion. Wilkerson, Coples and Griffin plan to appeal.
• The New York Giants acquired three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jon Beason, 28, from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a late-round draft pick in 2014.
“It’s amazing,” Beason said. “It doesn’t happen (often) with midseason trades. But the one place I said if I wasn’t in Carolina, where I wanted to be, was with a great organization like the Giants, with a winning tradition, leadership, a 4-3 scheme where I can come in right now. I think I can really come out and impact the season.”
To make room on the roster, the Giants placed veteran guard Chris Snee on injured reserve with a hip injury.
• Darren McFadden missed a third straight day of practice because of a hamstring injury, making it likely the Oakland Raiders will be without their top running back for Sunday night’s game against San Diego. Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, an ex-UW Husky, is listed as questionable because of a knee injury.
• Kansas City will be without rookie right tackle Eric Fisher, the first player drafted this year, because of a concussion when it visits Tennessee on Sunday.
• Some retired players have opted out of a $50 million class-action settlement in a federal case that accused the league of using their names and images without their consent.
In papers filed Friday, players’ attorney Dan Gustafson said the settlement should be approved because it is “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the Class.”
Gustafson wrote that more than 25,000 players — or more than 90 percent of the settlement class — chose to participate. Meanwhile, 2,140 players — less than 8 percent — asked to be excluded. Eighteen players filed timely objections, and can argue against the settlement at a hearing later this month.