BEREA,Ohio--Hue Jackson announced that Cody Kessler has cleared all the hurdles to start Sunday's game against the Titans.
“(Cody (Kessler) practiced full and looked good," Jackson said. "I think he is ready to go.”
After being knocked out in the first quarter of last week's game against the Patriots with injuries to the chest and rib area, Kessler was able to bounce back and practice Wednesday and Thursday and clear the hurdles necessary to play.
"Again credit to him, our trainers have done a good job of getting him back out there," Jackson said. "As you know, he hasn't missed a day of practice, so that's good."
Kessler said he's excited to be back on the field.
“Yeah, definitely," he said. "That was my mindset the whole time. I don’t let anything kind of surprise me or catch me off guard. I just stay prepared the whole time, and if it is me starting, then I am going to go. If it is not or however it may be, then I just want to stay ready no matter what. It is exciting to get back out. Obviously, last week, it was unfortunate the game got cut a little short for me so it is exciting to get back out there.”
However, Jackson wasn't ready to declare Josh McCown as being ready to be the backup quarterback.
"I don't know that," Jackson said. "I know Cody is ready."
If McCown isn't cleared to play for Sunday's game, rookie Kevin Hogan would likely be activated and serve as a backup along with Terrelle Pryor against Tennessee.
Through three starts, Kessler is 54-of-81 for 529 yards (66.7 pct.) with two touchdowns and an interception and a rating of 87.9. Jackson said he's pleased with the progress of Kessler so far this season.
“I just think he is getting better," Jackson said. "He is understanding our system, how to play within our system, where to deliver the ball to. I He has started to play in a rhythm that runs our offense and a rhythm that works for him. That is what we have to do is, whoever is playing quarterback, make sure we get them in rhythm where they can play and function and play good. He has done a good job, obviously, but still so early in the season and have a long way to go.”
Haden Injured Groin: DB Joe Haden was added to the injury report Thursday as limited with a groin injury. It is not the same groin that held him out of the Dolphins game.
Erving to Start at Center: OL Cameron Erving will start at center for the first time since suffering a bruised lung against the Ravens in Week Two. Jackson said OL John Greco will move back to right guard, while OL Alvin Bailey will replace OL Joel Bitonio at left guard.
“Cam is ready to go," Jackson said. "Cam is there and obviously Greco and Alvin Bailey and (OL Jonathan) Cooper. We will know more by the end of the week, but I feel good about the guys who are going to walk out there first. I do feel good about the starting line.”
Greco said he's looking forward to having Erving back.
“I’m excited to have him back out there," Greco said. "I know he has been kind of anxious to be back out. I know they just want him to be healthy because that is the thing, we don’t want to rush him out there and then it turns into missing three or four more weeks, but he is ready to go. He seems energized and focused, and it has been exciting to have him out there these past few days.”
Thomas Still Out: OL Joe Thomas (knee) was not on the field during the open part of practice. Thomas has not missed an offensive snap in his career and Jackson said he doesn't expect Thomas to miss this week's game.
"The left tackle is fine," Jackson said after practice. "He stretched and made sure he felt better, but he didn't practice."
Thomas has a streak of 149 straight game without missing an offensive snap spanning 9,262 plays.
“And he won’t," Jackson said. "He won’t. He won’t miss a down. No question in mind about that."
Besides Thomas, OL Joel Bitonio (foot) WR Corey Coleman (hand), TE Randall Telfer (ankle), TE Seth DeValve (knee) and DL Xavier Cooper (shoulder) did not practice. QB Josh McCown (left shoulder) and TE Gary Barnidge (forearm/hip) were all listed as limited. QB Cody Kessler (chest/ribs), DB Tramon Williams (shoulder) and OL Cameron Erving (chest/lung) fully practiced Thursday .
Coleman Update: Jackson said that WR Corey Coleman is getting closer to returning to the field. Coleman was injured during practice after catching five passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens in Week 2. He has missed the last three games and will miss his fourth on Sunday.
“I think there will be another follow-up on his X-ray either later this week or early next week so hopefully. I would love to put my arm around him and throw him the ball, hopefully soon, because I know he is chomping at the bit," Jackson said. "He is tired of running over there on the side so hopefully we will get him back out here soon.”
The original timetable was four to six weeks.