Josh McCown played through a shoulder issue on Sunday, but according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, is still in "excruciating pain" and will undergo an MRI Monday. Kessler, drafted in the third round this year out of USC, is the only option left for head coach Hue Jackson should McCown's injury be serious.
So it goes for the Browns, who are not getting any help from the Football Gods as they try to lift their rebuilding team out of the mud and get it back on the road. Robert Griffin III has likely played his last down in orange after suffering his own shoulder issue in the season opener against Philadelphia.
Losing McCown could be a bigger blow.
While Cleveland earmarked this season as one to condition and play their rookie haul from this year's draft, Kessler was not part of that plan. All along, Jackson seemed to intimate that he'd need about a year before stepping in to take starter's minutes.
"It's a physical game and you always have to be ready," Kessler said, via Cleveland.com. "It's kind of a next-man-up mentality and I prepared as hard as I could all week. I didn't have any nervousness or anxiousness, I was ready to go. Just because of my prep all week and learning from Josh and listening to what he did. Watching the reps he did and getting more reps in practice. I felt ready to go. If that did happen, I had the mindset of going in as the starter."
As The Plain Dealer noted in the piece, the Browns may also make a run at a veteran option. Ryan Lindley currently tops a list that features names like Josh Freeman, Brad Sorensen and B.J. Daniels. Jackson will have to decide if playing them is better than forcing Kessler to just learn on the job. Jackson is learning that sometimes in Cleveland there aren't always right answers.
But wait, there's more. Rapoport reported per a source Monday that rookie defensive end Carl Nassibhas a broken hand that will require surgery, with a recovery timetable that's yet to be determined. Center Cameron Erving, who suffered a pulmonary contusion, was released from the hospital Monday morning and is considered week to week, per the team.