The Browns escaped a preseason quarterback swap.
Tyrod Taylor isn’t expected to miss any time — and is still in line to start the Sept. 9 season opener against Pittsburgh — after dislocating his left pinky and bruising his hand in Thursday’s 5-0 win over Philadelphia.
Taylor’s injury initially appeared serious after he awkwardly landed on his non-throwing hand and wrist while bracing his fall after firing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal. He immediately grabbed his hand and ran to the sideline before being taken to the locker room for treatment and evaluation. He returned and played in three more series.
“Tyrod had a dislocated pinky but obviously they were able to get that back in place real quickly,” coach Hue Jackson said on a conference call Friday. “It takes 15 seconds to do that. He has a bruised hand. He’s sore. But he’s going to be fine.”
Taylor’s hand was wrapped as he made an appearance at a men’s apparel store Friday night. He was relieved the injury wasn’t serious, and said he’s dealing with soreness but plans to practice Saturday.
“Everything came back negative, which is a good sign and we were able to put the finger back in place,” he said. “It’s my left hand, at the end of the day. So deal with it. It’ll be sore for a couple of days, but it’s nothing that’s going to stop me.”
Taylor said the doctor had some trouble putting his finger back into place.
“I tried to be tough about it,” he said. “I tried not to look at it. I saw that it did dislocate, but I tried to look away and let him do his thing. They’re professionals. They know what they’re doing when it comes to that stuff. It didn’t pop back as quickly as I wanted it to.”
Jackson also said he doesn’t expect rookie starting cornerback Denzel Ward to miss “much time, if any” because of back spasms. Ward, the No. 4 overall pick, got twisted while tackling Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.
Jackson said he hasn’t decided if the first-team offense will play in next week’s exhibition finale at Detroit. Jackson wants his starters to get as much time together as possible and is still considering playing them against the Lions.
The 29-year-old Taylor is in his first season with the Browns, who acquired him from Buffalo in a trade in March to stabilize a problematic position. Taylor will start until top overall pick Baker Mayfield is ready, and the Browns will gladly put that off until next season.
Taylor has been a model mentor to Mayfield so far, and the eight-year veteran has impressed everyone with his work ethic and attitude.
The Browns seemed caught off guard that Taylor, who stayed in the locker room for the second half on Thursday, left FirstEnergy Stadium before speaking with reporters.
Taylor did post a thank you to Cleveland fans for their prayers on Twitter and said he was “doing well.”
Jackson said there was relief that Taylor wasn’t more seriously hurt.
“Well, I definitely got the final thought that he was going to be fine when we decided to put him back in,” Jackson said. “Obviously, when (head trainer) Joe Sheehan came back, he said ‘Everything is fine. There are no issues. He can go back in.’ Obviously, the player was very excited to go back in the game. Again, I felt he needed to, because our offensive football team at that time needed to play together.
“They needed his leadership. He needed to be out there playing with them. I think it is important for them to develop that chemistry, so I felt comfortable that when we put him back out there, things were OK. Obviously, when he was not there and he was inside before he came back, all kinds of thoughts go through your head. But I feel good about where he is and what he will be able to do in the future.”
NOTES: WR Josh Gordon will participate in walk-throughs over the weekend and it’s possible he’ll practice. The former Pro Bowl receiver has only been allowed to attend meetings, work on the side with trainers and watch since returning from a self-imposed absence in training camp. Gordon, who was on the sideline Thursday night, has played in only 10 games over the past four seasons because of suspensions from drug violations. … Rookie Genard Avery (hip) will be sidelined “some time” but has not been ruled out of the opener. Avery had a strip-sack on the Eagles’ Nick Foles. … Starting S Damarious Randall sat out against the Eagles after a knee locked up during warmups. Jackson said he was held out as a precaution.