Quinn hopes to play despite broken finger on throwing hand

BEREA, Ohio -- Brady Quinn got his first NFL win as a starter almost single-handedly.

Quinn broke his right index finger during the first half of Monday night's game against the Buffalo Bills, but Cleveland's new starting quarterback stayed in and led the Browns to a 29-27 victory.

Despite the injury, Quinn will try to play Sunday when the Browns host the Houston Texans.

"At this point, it's just a little sore," he said before practice on Thursday. "Just doing the best we can to take all the precautions to make sure it's all right."

Quinn didn't seem to be bothered by the finger while throwing during the 30-minute segment of practice open to the media. He didn't favor the finger while taking snaps and fired a few tight spirals while working out in the team's indoor practice facility. Later, the team's injury report said Quinn participated in the full practice.

The Browns initially thought Quinn only bruised his hand after banging it on the helmet of a Bills player. But after he complained of soreness following Wednesday's practice, X-rays were taken and revealed a fracture on the tip of his finger.

Quinn was cleared to play by a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.

"The hand specialist says because it's a fracture, soreness initially will be the thing that he has to deal with the most," coach Romeo Crennel said. "Then probably after this week, the soreness will die down. We plan to monitor him on a regular basis, just to make sure that it's not getting worse or anything like that. But he's going to play, he's going to practice, he's going to try to help the team win."

Quinn's injury was a surprise to his teammates.

"I didn't even know he was hurt," center Hank Fraley said. "I don't think anybody in this locker room has a clue. I'm going to snap a little lighter, I guess."

Fraley said Quinn showed no signs of being slowed by the injury during practice on Wednesday.

"He looked fine," he said. "If you didn't say a word to me or anybody in this locker room, I don't think anybody else would have even known."

Making his second career start and first on the road, Quinn finished 14-of-36 for 185 yards against the Bills. He didn't throw a touchdown pass or an interception. Late in the fourth quarter, the former Notre Dame star completed passes of 12 and 16 yards to set up Phil Dawson's winning 56-yard field goal with 1:39 left.

Quinn banged his hand on a helmet in the first quarter and then again in the second. He was surprised to learn that it was broken and said he has never had a similar injury.

Cleveland's most popular player, Quinn was promoted two weeks ago when Crennel benched Derek Anderson following a loss to Baltimore. Crennel said he didn't consider making the switch back to Anderson, a Pro Bowler last season, after Quinn got medical clearance.

"If the specialist had said he can't play, then we wouldn't play him," Crennel said. "But the specialist says he can practice and he can play. I think that the organization wants to do what's best for the player in conjunction with what the medical staff tells us. When the doctor said that he can play, then we're going to let him play.

"That's the way we treat all the players," he added. "If the doctor says they can play we let them play."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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