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McCoy's ankle injury may lead to Delhomme facing former team

BEREA, Ohio -- Colt McCoy has a sprained ankle. At least the Browns are consistent in one category.

Cleveland's rookie quarterback injured his left ankle on Sunday at Jacksonville, leaving his status for this week's game uncertain and making it possible Jake Delhomme could return to the lineup and start against his former team, the Carolina Panthers.

McCoy underwent an MRI and further tests Monday on his ankle, which he hurt being sacked in the second half of a 24-20 loss to the Jaguars. McCoy finished his fifth straight game despite being hobbled by the ankle injury, the third sustained by a Cleveland quarterback this season.

Plastic walking boots have become fashionable this fall around here.

Browns coach Eric Mangini confirmed McCoy's sprain, but was unclear about the extent of the injury. Mangini said he will wait to see if McCoy can practice on Wednesday before naming a start for Sunday's home game. Even then, Mangini is likely to keep the Panthers (1-9) guessing about his plans.

If McCoy can't play, Delhomme, who has been out since re-injuring his right ankle against Atlanta on Oct. 10, is now an option.

Mangini said the 35-year-old Delhomme "is back to 100 percent or back to 100 percent as much as anybody could be 100 percent."

Both Delhomme and quarterback Seneca Wallace have been sidelined by high ankle sprains, dreaded injuries that typically take up to a month to heal completely.

Wallace, who made four starts after Delhomme was initially injured in the season opener, was McCoy's backup on Sunday against the Jaguars. Delhomme was Cleveland's third quarterback, but he may now leapfrog Wallace if McCoy can't go this week.

Wallace briefly came into the locker room Monday, but took off the moment reporters began converging on his stall.

"I pump faked y'all," Wallace cracked as he left.

McCoy has gone 2-3 as a starter. He's completed 81 of 127 passes for 975 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. On Sunday, he was sacked six times and left Jacksonville with a walking boot on his left foot, a cowboy boot on his right.

Delhomme signed with the Browns (3-7) as a free agent in March after spending seven seasons in Carolina. He led the Panthers to their only Super Bowl appearance in the 2003 season.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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