Wallace poised to start for Browns as Delhomme rests ankle

The Cleveland Browns have started 14 different quarterbacks since 1999. By contrast, the Indianapolis Colts have had one: Peyton Manning.

It's no wonder the Browns can't win.

Now their head-spinning quarterback total might soon be 15.

Jake Delhomme didn't practice for the third consecutive day because of an ankle injury, increasing the likelihood that backup Seneca Wallace will start Sunday's home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Browns coach Eric Mangini didn't name Wallace his Week 2 starter, but he seemed headed in that direction.

"I just want to go through today and see where we are tomorrow morning," Mangini said before Friday's practice. "That being said, I feel real good about what Seneca's done all week. Not just me, it's the coaches, the players. We all feel good about him leading us as well."

Wallace was asked if he has been told he'll start.

"Somewhat," he said after Friday's practice. "I got the feeling because I was out at practice and he (Delhomme) is still walking around."

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Making his debut with the Browns, Delhomme injured his right ankle while throwing an interception during last week's loss at Tampa Bay. It was the first ankle injury the 35-year-old could remember, and he has spent the week in a walking boot and receiving treatment.

Mangini said Delhomme, who hasn't been seen at the team's headquarters since Wednesday, has improved, and the coach didn't rule him out against the Chiefs. Delhomme was listed as doubtful on Cleveland's injury report.

"Jake's made progress all week long," Mangini said. "He knows the game plan. He's got such an ease with picking things up. I have complete confidence in him. If we're in a situation where we could play him, I have total confidence in him."

Wallace went 5-9 in 14 career starts during seven seasons as a backup for the Seattle Seahawks, who traded him to Cleveland in March. In his most recent start, the 30-year-old posted career-highs in completions (33) and attempts (45) while throwing for 257 yards last season against the Colts.

Wallace is much more mobile than Delhomme and could give the Chiefs more reason to worry.

Mangini, who is aware of Cleveland's remarkable turnover at quarterback, believes the team wouldn't miss a beat with Wallace behind center.

"I had the misfortune of playing him when he started in Seattle," Mangini said. "He did a real nice job there. During that pack of games that he did start, he was real efficient, protected the ball well, moved the ball well. I know it's another number to a pretty lengthy number. But I feel good about him."

Since their expansion return, the Browns have paraded quarterbacks in and out of the starting lineup like cars rolling off an assembly line.

Ty Detmer, Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Doug Pederson, Jeff Garcia, Trent Dilfer, Derek Anderson, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Spergon Wynn, Luke McCown, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski and Delhomme have all started for Cleveland with varying degrees of success.

Wallace would be quarterback No. 15, a number that underscores the Browns' inability to build a winner.

"I wasn't here for all the other ones," Mangini said. "I was here for some of them, but not all of them. In our situation now, Seneca's worked with the first group. Seneca's been here the whole offseason. In the locker room with the guys, the coaching staff, right across board, there's a real sense of confidence in him. I think everybody's got a chance to see what he can do when he plays."

Notes: NT Shaun Rogers practiced after missing two days with a hip injury. Mangini believes the big man, who was listed as questionable, will play against the Chiefs. ... LB D'Qwell Jackson, who has been sidelined since Aug. 10 with a chest muscle injury, also returned to practice on a limited basis, but he will not play Sunday. ... Mangini spoke reverently of former Browns coach Romeo Crennel, now the Chiefs' defensive coordinator. They worked together in New England, where they shared a house at one point. "It was like one of those reality shows," Mangini said, laughing. "He was a great house guest. We watched a lot of bad TV together. Obviously, we snacked together. We both appreciated our snacks. We had a lot in common."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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