Quinn makes debut for Browns; Anderson returns after injury

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Derek Anderson sat out one series with an injured finger, allowing rookie Brady Quinn to make his NFL debut in Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Anderson, whose emergence has pushed the Browns (10-6) to the brink of a playoff berth, appeared to get hurt when he was hit by 49ers safety Michael Lewis while throwing an incomplete pass. Anderson grabbed his hand and walked slowly to the sideline. He sat briefly on the bench before he was escorted to the locker room by Browns medical personnel.

However, X-rays were negative and Anderson, who came back to the sideline and warmed up before the first half ended, started the third quarter.

Late in the first half, Quinn jogged onto the field with 3:11 left to a thunderous ovation from Browns fans who have been curious to see him perform as a pro. Although Cleveland's game was mostly meaningless, Browns coach Romeo Crennel was not expected to play Quinn.

The former Notre Dame star's first pass was batted down. His first completion was a 15-yarder to tight end Steve Heiden.

The first-round draft pick drove Cleveland to 49ers 6-yard line, but a possible touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards whistled through the wide receiver's hands. On the next play, tight end Kellen Winslow dropped Quinn's pass in the end zone.

Before getting injured, Anderson threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards to put Cleveland ahead 14-0. It was Anderson's 29th touchdown pass this season, one shy of Brian Sipe's club record.

Anderson began the season as a backup, but took over when starter Charlie Frye was traded after a 34-7 loss in the season opener to Pittsburgh. Anderson threw five touchdown passes the following week against Cincinnati and has been one of the league's surprise stories this season.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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