Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer to start against the Minnesota Vikings

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

It's always darkest before the dawn.

The Cleveland Browns announced via Twitter that head coach Rob Chudzinski has named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback for the game against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday.

Brandon Weeden left the game last Sunday after suffering a thumb sprain late in the fourth quarter. He underwent an MRI on Monday, but the results have yet to be released to the media.

Jason Campbell, the Browns second quarterback on the depth chart up until today, replaced Weeden for only a single drive against the Ravens. He only completed one pass for six yards on four attempts, leading to a 39.6 passer rating.

Brian Hoyer, a Cleveland native, was acquired by the Browns back in May, signing him to a two-year deal after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals. Many speculated the signing would happen considering general manager Mike Lombardi had given Hoyer a lot of praise in the past.

Hoyer has spent his four-year career as a backup in the NFL, signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and remaining there until 2011. Most of the regular season action he's seen thus far has come with the Patriots, filling in for Tom Brady when games were already well in-hand.

Last season he split time with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cardinals. Over the course of his career, in 15 games he's gone 57-of-96 for 616 yards passing, two touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 72.2 QB rating. He's also rushed for a touchdown.

A question many fans are asking in light of the news this morning is whether the coaching staff really thinks Brian Hoyer gives this team the best chance to win or if they're just seeing what they have? If the latter is true, it would be reasonable to assume that they don't have a lot of hope left for this season. Did they see enough in the four pass attempts from Campbell to catapult Hoyer in front of him?

Rob Chudzinski's press conference:

Chudzinski stressed the idea that this move was about having the best fit for this week and the best chance to win against the Minnesota Vikings. It appeared that he wanted to make it clear that this was absolutely his decision.

When asked about Hoyer's mobility, Chudzinski said that the Browns are looking for a "spark," and he cited the preseason game against the Chicago Bears as an example. He also said that Hoyer doesn't have any limitations as a passer and is capable of making every throw needed from an NFL quarterback.

He said that Weeden will see a specialist tomorrow and determine where to go from there. He did not rule out surgery and said that, from a health standpoint, Weeden will remain week-to-week.

Chudzinski continued to say that he is leaving all options open beyond this week.

He closed by mentioning that the two starting WRs this week would be Josh Gordon and Davone Bess, pushing Greg Little down the depth chart.

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