CLEVELAND (AP) -- Brian Hoyer, the hometown quarterback who sparked his Cleveland Browns to two straight wins, will miss the rest of the season with a torn right knee ligament.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said an MRI taken Friday showed that Hoyer tore the anterior cruciate ligament. He will undergo surgery, ending his feel-good story after just three starts.
Hoyer began the year as Cleveland's No. 3 quarterback. With Brandon Weeden out with a sprained thumb, Hoyer made just his second NFL start in Week 3 and led the Browns (3-2) to victories over Minnesota and Cincinnati, throwing winning touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of both wins.
Hoyer was injured at the end of a scramble in the first quarter of Thursday night's 37-24 win over Buffalo.
"This is disappointing," Chudzinski said on a conference call. "It's an unfortunate thing."
Chudzinski said there was no other damage in Hoyer's knee and the 27-year-old QB is expected to make a full recovery.
Hoyer's knee was bent awkwardly when he slid on an 11-yard run and was hit from the side by Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso, who drilled the QB as he tried to get down. Chudzinski said Hoyer's cleat got caught underneath him during the slide and before the impact from Alonso.
"It's hard on him," said Chudzinski, who spoke to Hoyer after the medical results confirmed the ACL tear. "But he's going to make it back and he's the type of guy who has overcome so many obstacles. He's such a positive guy and he's the kind of guy you don't doubt."
Hoyer waited five seasons for a chance to start, and he quickly became a fan favorite because he's from Cleveland and grew up rooting for the Browns. His family had season tickets and he and his dad attended many games in old Cleveland Stadium.
With Hoyer out, Weeden has his starting job back.
Weeden replaced Hoyer against the Bills, and following a slow start, rallied the Browns to their third straight win. Weeden threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter and finished 13 of 24 for 197 yards.
"It was a gutsy performance," Chudzinski said of Weeden's relief outing. "It wasn't always pretty, but he got the job done. He managed the game. There were some ups and downs, but he was resilient and was able to make some big plays."
Chudzinski said defensive end Desmond Bryant was "fine" after being taken to the Cleveland Clinic with shortness of breath. Chudzinski expects Bryant to play next week against Detroit.
Manuel sidelined, but no surgery
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee that will not require surgery but will sideline him at least two weeks and potentially longer, coach Doug Marrone said.
Manuel was injured in the third quarter of Buffalo's 37-24 loss at Cleveland on Thursday, when he was hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson at the end of a 14-yard run.
Marrone said it is too early to determine an exact timetable for Manuel's return.
"What we need right now is for it to calm down, see where we're at," Marrone said, "see where he's at in probably a week to see how it's progressing, where he is, then get it down in to a little bit more of a window."
Rookie Jeff Tuel came in for Manuel but was ineffective, completing 8 of 20 passes for 80 yards.
Marrone said the Bills (2-3) will look into acquiring another quarterback and did not rule out the possibility of that player starting Buffalo's next game Oct. 13 at Cincinnati (2-2).
Manuel had already gained a first down on the play on which he was hurt, but Marrone defended the quarterback's decision not to slide.
"This one (Thursday) night was a tough situation because I really don't think he saw the guy coming to the inside until late," Marrone said. "You see him get the first down and you see him trying to get as much as you can and then try to protect himself."
After hitting Manuel, Gipson pumped his fist and stared in the direction of the quarterback on the ground. Bills center Eric Wood called some Browns players "classless" for the way they reacted to Manuel's injury.
"The hit was fine," Wood said. "What ticked me off was the way they acted afterwards. I hope our defense never acts like that when they injure an opposing quarterback because you've got to show some class in that situation.
"There's a few guys over there that obviously didn't."
Wood singled out Browns safety T.J. Ward, claiming he told Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso, Ward's former teammate at Oregon, that he should have warned Manuel that Cleveland's defense was coming after him.
"That is completely inaccurate," Ward said on a conference call. "I did speak to Kiko and he went to Oregon with me. But anytime a player gets hurt, you never praise or root for players to get hurt. It's competitive sport, a violent sport, but when you see players go down, no way in any shape or form it's a celebration."
In the first quarter, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered what ended up being a season-ending knee injury when he got his leg caught underneath him in a slide and was hit near the head by Alonso. Several Browns wanted a penalty called on the hit.
"I don't think there was any intention there," Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said. "Brian was sliding. It was just an unfortunate thing. I think his cleat got caught up underneath him."
This is the second time Manuel has been out with a knee injury. He missed the final two weeks of the preseason after hurting his left knee while scrambling in a win over Minnesota on Aug. 16.
Kevin Kolb started the following weekend at Washington, but sustained a season-ending concussion during that game. The Bills were forced to scramble to address their depth at quarterback by signing free agent Matt Leinart and acquiring Thaddeus Lewis in a trade with Detroit.
Leinart was cut a day after the Bills' preseason finale vs. Detroit. Lewis was cut a day later before being re-signed to Buffalo's practice squad.
The Bills are banged up at other positions, but an extra weekend of rest will help them recover.