Update: Browns head coach Mike Pettine has announced Josh McCown is out for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone. He suffered the injury in Monday night's loss to the Ravens.
The Browns will host the Bengals this Sunday, and one player who spent time with both clubs this past offseason could be suiting up for Cleveland.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the Browns are signing free agent quarterback turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor today. Pryor was set to meet with the Bears for a workout, but it looks like he'll stick with the team he spent a good chunk of the offseason with.
Pryor originally signed with the Bengals during OTAs as a quarterback hoping to salvage his career by reuniting with Hue Jackson. He quickly fell behind Josh Johnson and AJ McCarron on the depth chart to the point where he was barely getting any reps. Jackson coached Pryor in Oakland when he was their offensive coordinator and head coach.
After the Bengals waived Pryor in June, the Browns claimed him and worked him at wide receiver during OTAs, training camp and the preseason. After initially making the 53-man roster, Pryor eventually was cut and has since been unable to find a team willing to sign him.
The fact that Pryor has some familiarity with the Bengals and Jackson is potentially why the Browns are signing him. But, it's unlikely Pryor will be able to give the Browns too much assistance on that front.
There's also the possibility Cleveland is signing Pryor to be an emergency quarterback with news that Josh McCown may be done for the year. Cabot reports that McCown may have broken his collarbone during Monday's loss to the Ravens (in epic fashion I might add). That's bad news for Cleveland as McCown has quietly had one of the best seasons a Browns quarterback has had since the franchise's rebirth in 1999.
In eight games this season, McCown has completed 186 of 292 passes (63.7 percent) for 2,109 yards (7.2 yards per attempt) with 12 touchdowns vs four interceptions and a passer rating of 93.3. McCown missed the Browns' first matchup with Cincinnati due to a rib injury.
With McCown likely out, that means either Austin Davis or Johnny Manziel will start against the Bengals. Manziel got the start in Cincinnati during the Week 9 matchup and finished 15-of-33 passing (45.5 percent) for 168 yards (5.1 yards per attempt with one score and took three sacks while rushing for 31 yards on four attempts. He didn't commit a turnover, but only led his offense to 10 points.
As for Davis, he was the one who filled in for McCown on Monday night and almost led Cleveland to a win. Davis replaced McCown with 8:29 left in the game and finished 7-of-10 passing for 77 yards with one touchdown and a 125.8 passer rating. Davis tied the game at 27-all on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin with 1:47 remaining, and it may have been enough that he starts this week vs the Bengals. After Monday night, Pettine said he's unsure who will start on Sunday against the Bengals if McCown is in fact injured.
At this point, Cincinnati should be preparing as if either quarterback will play, something they've dealt with frequently this season with a number of quarterback injuries across the NFL.
Davis is the better passer while Manziel is the better scrambler, but regardless of which quarterback starts, this is still a game the Bengals have no business losing if they want to show they are a true Super Bowl contender.