BEREA - It appears that Tim Couch won't be the Browns starting quarterback Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach Butch Davis said after practice Friday that Couch is improving but hasn't reached the point where he can make all the necessary throws.
"It's still somewhat up in the air," Davis said. "We've given Kelly (Holcomb) the lion's share of the snaps. It's conceivable that he'll probably be the starting quarterback. But I believe, and our football believes after watching Tim, that he could play. All indications are that we're moving in the direction that Kelly will probably start the game."
Couch was flown by private jet to Birmingham, Ala. after Thursday's practice to visit with orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews. Tests performed by Andrews showed no structural damage. Andrews prescribed more throwing so Couch can continue evaluating the build up of strength in the elbow.
"He said after he evaluated me that he didn't think it was as bad as he expected it to be," Couch said. "I was encouraged by it, and I think I'll be out there pretty soon."
The decision to sit Couch is obvisouly a disappointment to the four-year veteran.
"I've tried everything I can do to get healthy and go out and play," Couch said. "Even though I've gotten better and have thrown the ball every day, today I can't go out and make the throws that I normally make.
"Whether I can do that on Sunday if it continues to improve, I don't know. I have to say that if the game were today (Friday), I couldn't do it."
Couch will be on the 45-man active squad Sunday along with third-string quarterback Josh Booty. Davis isn't clear on what would happen if Holcomb is injured.
"I don't want to make any judgments to make you (the media) look bad or make me look bad," Davis said. "We're talking three days from now. I don't know how he's going to feel. He may be really good, and may be the second guy off the bench. He may be the third guy off the bench. I have no idea."
SET TO GO: Holcomb wasn't surpised by the news. He's taken most of the snaps with the first team this week.
Holcomb has just one start, in 1997 with Indianapolis against Cincinnati.
"I'm more knowledgeable about the game. I didn't know much then (in 1997)," Holcomb said. "I was a young guy coming from a small school (Middle Tennessee State), and it's tough picking up the game. Now that I've been here for a couple of years, you really know what's going on. I'm really looking forward to going out there and putting that to use."
FEELING BETTER: Running back William Green was on the practice field Friday after missing Thursday's session. Davis said that Green hurt his back while sitting down during a walk-through session. Green participated in all drills at full-go Friday.
INJURY UPDATE: Defensive end Kenard Lang is making a rapid recovery from a high ankle sprain. He's been practicing without a limp and might play some Sunday. H-back Aaron Shea (shoulder) isn't healing as quickly. It's doubtful that he'll suit up.