Browns re-sign QB Brett Ratliff
CLEVELAND -- The Browns have a second quarterback with two healthy legs.
Desperate for help because of ankle injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, Cleveland confirmed Tuesday it has re-signed Brett Ratliff as the probable backup to rookie Colt McCoy, who likely will make his first NFL start on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Ratliff's agent said Monday that his client was on his way back to Cleveland.
Ratliff had been on New England's practice squad, but the Browns know him well. He spent all of last season with Cleveland, and the 25-year-old was with the team throughout training camp before being waived on Sept. 4. Ratliff knows the Browns' offensive system, bringing some comfort to coach Eric Mangini as the team prepares to face the blitz-happy Steelers coming off a bye last week.
Mangini has not announced McCoy as his starter, and he may not tip his hand until just before kickoff to keep the Steelers guessing. On Monday, Mangini said he believes McCoy, the former Texas star who slipped to the third round in April's draft, is prepared for his pro debut.
"Sometimes the opportunity knocks, and if you get that opportunity you got to be ready to seize it," Mangini said. "He's played a lot of games, not at this level, but a lot of games in college at a very high level, and he's been in this system now for quite some time."
Delhomme, who missed Cleveland's previous three games with a high ankle sprain, appeared to re-injure his ankle in Sunday's loss to Atlanta. He was pressed into action after Wallace, making his fourth straight start, injured his ankle in the first half when he was sacked by Falcons end John Abraham.
Mangini refused to give specifics on the injuries to his veteran QBs. The team has not provided any updates on their status or test results.
The Browns' decision to sign Ratliff seems to indicate that both Delhomme and Wallace will be out for an extended period. League rules guarantee Ratliff will be on the roster for at least three weeks.
The team also terminated the contract of wide receiver Sam Aiken.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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