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Weeden, McCoy still sidelined for Browns

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-27 13:10

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Third-string quarterback Thad Lewis is one day closer to starting for the Browns.

With Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy not practicing again because of right shoulder injuries, Lewis worked with Cleveland's first-team offense on Thursday as the Browns prepared for Sunday's season finale against Pittsburgh.

Weeden and McCoy were hurt last week against Denver, and although coach Pat Shurmur has not ruled them out, it appears likely that Lewis will get his first NFL regular-season action.

Also, rookie running back Trent Richardson did not practice with a sprained left ankle and starting cornerback Sheldon Brown remained out with a concussion.

Shurmur will likely rule players out following Friday's practice if they're going to miss the Steelers game.

Lewis has spent two seasons with Browns, but has yet to appear in a game.

``He's got a live arm,'' Shurmur said. ``He's very athletic. He'll execute our offense the right way and I'm glad he's going to, if he becomes the starter here, will have an opportunity. He'll do a good job.''

The team signed free agent quarterback Josh Johnson, who would back up Lewis if Weeden and McCoy can't play. Shurmur said the team considered signing Seneca Wallace, who started seven games in two seasons with Cleveland before he was released in training camp.

With Cleveland's front office expected to make sweeping changes during the offseason, Sunday could be Shurmur's final game with the Browns.

Shurmur said he does not have a meeting scheduled with new owner Jimmy Haslam or CEO Joe Banner regarding his future. Shurmur said he's only focused on the Steelers.

``Listen, I get this,'' he said. ``My concerns are for our team and making sure that we do all the right things during the game to give our guys the best chance to win. And then at some point after that, I'll begin to think about what goes on from that. But I'm not worrying about it.''

Shurmur believes the Browns have improved during his tenure. Cleveland is 9-22 with Shurmur as coach.

``We've made improvements, some may say not fast enough,'' Shurmur said. ``But I think we've made improvements. And I think we came into a less-than-ideal situation when we got here. Every situation is different, and I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the work that the guys that I hired did in terms of inspiring the players to improve.

``We have not won enough football games. And I know that's the way this thing works.''

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