Browns bring back Ratliff after injuries to Delhomme, Wallace

The Cleveland Browns have a second quarterback with two healthy legs.

Desperate for help because of ankle injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, the Browns confirmed Tuesday that they have re-signed Brett Ratliff as the probable backup to rookie Colt McCoy, who likely will make his first NFL start Sunday in Pittsburgh.

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Ratliff's agent said Monday that his client was on his way back to Cleveland.

Ratliff, 25, had been on the New England Patriots' practice squad, but the Browns know him well. He spent all of last season with Cleveland, and he was with the team throughout training camp before he was waived Sept. 4. Ratliff knows the Browns' offensive system, bringing some comfort to coach Eric Mangini as the team prepares to face the blitz-happy Steelers coming off a bye last week.

Mangini hasn't announced McCoy as his starter, and the coach might not tip his hand until just before kickoff to keep the Steelers guessing.

On Monday, Mangini said he believes McCoy, the former University of Texas star who slipped to the third round in April's draft, is prepared for his professional debut.

"Sometimes the opportunity knocks, and if you get that opportunity, you got to be ready to seize it," Mangini said. "He's played a lot of games, not at this level, but a lot of games in college at a very high level, and he's been in this system now for quite some time."

Delhomme, who missed the Browns' previous three games with a high ankle sprain, appeared to re-injure his ankle during Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He was pressed into action after Wallace, making his fourth consecutive start, injured his ankle during the first half when he was sacked by Falcons end John Abraham.

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Mangini refused to give specifics on the injuries to his veteran quarterbacks -- the team hasn't provided any updates on their status or test results -- but *The Cleveland Plain Dealer* cited league sources in reporting that Delhomme suffered a high and a low ankle sprain and Wallace had a high ankle sprain.

The Browns' decision to sign Ratliff seems to indicate that both Delhomme and Wallace will be out for an extended period. League rules guarantee Ratliff will be on Cleveland's roster for at least three weeks.

The Browns also terminated the contract of wide receiver Sam Aiken, who had one reception for 7 yards in three games last season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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