Jeff Garcia's 2004 season came to a merciful end Sunday.
Little went right for the quarterback this season, and it came to a fitting conclusion. Garcia tore the MCL in his left knee when Buffalo defensive end Aaron Schobel drilled him from behind on the first play of the fourth quarter in Cleveland's 37-7 loss Sunday.
The injury came on Garcia's third snap in relief of rookie Luke McCown. Interim coach Terry Robiskie said Garcia won't require surgery but will go on injured reserve because the recovery time is 7-8 weeks.
Garcia's season has been troubled almost from the start. He struggled to make the change from the West Coast Offense he had in San Francisco. Garcia made gradual improvement, but he remained frustrated that Cleveland's offense didn't cater to his strengths - rollouts and improvisation.
Garcia strained his rotator cuff against the New York Jets on Nov. 21 and missed the next two weeks.
Garcia was critical of his offensive line, with much justification. But on his season-ending injury, Garcia bears some of the blame. According to Robiskie, Garcia did not take a five-step drop as designed on the play. Left tackle Ross Verba blocked as if Garcia would take a five-step drop and Schobel cut inside to nail Garcia.
That may have been the 34-year-old Garcia's final play for the Browns. He is scheduled to earn $4 million in 2005 as part of his 4-year, $25 million contract. With a new regime headed into town, Garcia may not be asked back.
Robiskie's future in Cleveland is also tenuous. But if he has a say in bringing back Garcia, he didn't sound convinced it should be as a starter.
"Jeff would be a guy we would sit down and have discussions with," Robiskie said. "We want to look at Luke (McCown) and continue to play him and see how he is doing."
- Luke McCown had a brutal day against the Bills compared his debut against
New England when he showed some promise.
McCown was sacked seven times, including twice by 350-pound tackle Sam Adams. Adams pancaked the skinny McCown on one of the sacks.
Asked about that Monday, McCown smiled and said, "I went to bed last night just hoping I'd wake up this morning," McCown said.
- Browns players continue to unleash their disdain for departed coach Butch Davis. Cornerback Daylon McCutcheon ripped Davis after the Buffalo game,
saying the coach had "bailed out on us." Safety Robert Griffith said the
Browns' lack of talent should be attributed to Davis' personnel decisions.
Interim coach Terry Robiskie wants the Davis-bashing to end.
"Butch Davis is gone," he said. "He had nothing to do with the New England game or with the Buffalo game. We are here. What happened with New England or Buffalo is on our shoulders. Let's let the Butch Davis thing go."
- Quarterback Kelly Holcomb said his cracked ribs remain sore. He will
attempt to do some individual drills this week in practice, but it's unlikely
he would be a realistic alternative to McCown to start against San Diego.
- Center Jeff Faine sprained his left knee and will miss the San Diego game.
- Defensive tackle Orpheus Roye sprained his ankle and is day to day.
- Tight end Aaron Shea sprained his ankle and is day to day.
- Linebacker Kevin Bentley sprained his ankle and is day to day.