- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2011

BEREA, OHIO (AP) - Colt McCoy is expected to recover from his concussion and play for the Browns again this season. Benjamin Watson isn’t as fortunate.

Watson was placed on injured reserve Friday, ending the tight end’s season after he sustained his third concussion since July in last week’s loss at Pittsburgh. Watson was injured when he banged his head on the ground following a tackle in the first half, couldn’t get his balance and had to be helped to the sideline.

Watson who was Cleveland’s leading receiver last season and had 37 catches for 410 yards and two touchdowns this year, visited a specialist on head injuries earlier this week.

Browns tight end Evan Moore was disappointed Watson’s season ended prematurely, but understood the choice.

“That’s a big loss,” Moore said. “All of us are really close with Ben. He’s doing well. I don’t know the ins and outs of how the decision was made, but I know when it comes to the head, it’s not something you mess around with. So I think he not only has to think about himself but his family. And Ben’s a smart guy, so I’m sure he wanted to go with the right decision.”

Shurmur said Watson, a father of three who will turn 31 on Sunday, has not discussed with him the possibility of retiring.

Watson was not available for interviews as players packed following practice for their flight to Arizona. A team spokesman said per league policy, “players are not available until cleared from a medical standpoint.”

McCoy, who was flattened last week on an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison, has not yet been cleared to play by Cleveland’s medical staff, which came under heavy criticism for its handling of the QB’s head injury.

McCoy is still experiencing headaches and was sent home Friday for the fourth time this week to rest. He was seen driving away from the team’s facility in his pickup truck and will not accompany the team to Arizona.

Shurmur said there has been no discussion about placing McCoy on IR.

“He’s still having some symptoms and that’s why we sent him home,” Shurmur said.

With McCoy sidelined, backup Seneca Wallace will make his first start this season against the Cardinals. Wallace went 1-3 in four starts last season, and Shurmur expects the nine-year veteran who will be making his 19th start in the NFL to play well.

“I’m anticipating that Seneca’s going to go out and execute efficiently and I think we saw Colt do that at times this year,” he said. “As a quarterback, you’re trying to go out and do everything right all the time. Every once in a while you’ll make a bad throw or a poor decision and then you get right back on the horse and try to correct it.

“I would anticipate, based on what I saw in practice, Seneca will do a good job.”

Shurmur added that rookie fullback Owen Marecic is also out this week. Like McCoy and Watson, Marecic sustained a concussion against the Steelers, his second concussion in a month.

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