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Browns turn to Campbell ... again

12/6/2013

Jason Campbell gave the Cleveland Browns two starts this season, two days of practice this week and seven years of mostly uninspired play coming into 2013.

It was enough for the team to make Campbell the starter for Sunday's game in New England against the Patriots.

That's where the Browns are at the quarterback position, ready to send up fireworks when a guy who struggled his last two games after splitting his previous two was back on the field. Campbell's return does mean the Browns don't have to face Bill Belichick's defense with completely untested Alex Tanney or relatively untested Caleb Hanie.

Which is something.

Campbell spoke to the media for the first time since he was hit in the head by William Gay of the Steelers in the Browns' Nov. 24 loss to Pittsburgh. He said the hit to the head caused the injury, but he did not think the play was dirty.

"He was coming in trying to hit me, and I think when I saw him at the last minute I kind of ducked down a little bit and that's when he hit me right across the face," Campbell said. "I don't think it was a dirty hit. I don't think he was trying to do it. It was just right in the middle of the action of the play."

Campbell said his symptoms included dizziness, being light-headed and an inability to look at glaring lights.

"I was quarantined for a little bit," he said.

The Auburn product was able to watch the school's win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. He said he felt by Wednesday that he was confident he would play.

"[It's] probably the best I've felt since I had a chance to play," Campbell said.

He also admitted his injured ribs sent him to the sidelines in the Pittsburgh loss, and that he was in significant pain in the loss to Cincinnati.

The team said the ribs were not broken, so what was wrong?

"Just hurting," Campbell said.

The week of practice had the Browns scratching their heads and wondering if they would be facing the Patriots with one hand tied behind their back.

Campbell said he couldn't even try to do anything until he was symptom free, and that didn't happen until Monday.

But in a big way the Browns really only have themselves to thank for it.

It was the Browns, after all, who put Colt McCoy back into the game with a concussion after James Harrison's vicious and late hit in Pittsburgh in 2011.