McCoy can’t practice and it’s obvious he won’t play Sunday against the Steelers. Backup Seneca Wallace will make his third start in a row in place of McCoy, who won’t get a final chance to prove to the Browns that he should be their long-term starter.
McCoy had an inconsistent second pro season, his first running coach Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense. McCoy expects to be evaluated in the offseason by Shurmur, general manager Tom Heckert and president Mike Holmgren like any other player.
“There’s two things I can control: One, I can control how hard I work, how hard I prepare; and the second one is I can control how I feel,” he said. “I want to be here. I love this city. I love my teammates. I’ll do anything. I want to be here, so after that … speculation has never gotten me anywhere. I’m a factual guy. That’s all I’ve got.”
The Browns were criticized in many corners for their handling of McCoy’s concussion. In the days that followed, the NFL sent a medical team to Cleveland to meet with the Browns and representative of the Players Association also took part in discussions to see what more could have been done.
Those meetings led to the league instituting a change in its game-day policy on injuries. Teams must have a certified athletic trainer in the press box to monitor play and provide medical staffs with information to help them assist injured players.
Also, in the hours after McCoy was injured, his father condemned the Browns for not checking McCoy more thoroughly and sending him back into the game. Brad McCoy made his comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
McCoy was asked if his father’s remarks have done damage to his standing with the club.
“No,” he said. “But I will say I have talked to my dad and I have addressed some things with my dad and what we talk about I’m going to keep private.”
The Browns have had nine players sustain 12 concussions, with McCoy’s appearing to be the most serious. Tight end Benjamin Watson also missed three games, but the team placed him on injured reserve after he suffered his third concussion since July.
It’s been frustrating for McCoy to be away from his teammates. He said he’s watched the past two games from home and doesn’t know if he’ll be allowed to be on the sideline for the Browns’ season finale. Still, it won’t be the same as playing.
“The hardest part is not being able to travel or be with your team or be out there at practice with them or be in games,” he said. “You work so hard all year long to be able to just be out there and contribute, so that’s been the hardest part.”
Notes: Browns starting RT Tony Pashos has a stomach virus and didn’t practice for the second day in a row. Artis Hicks and Oneil Cousins split reps with the starters. … Shurmur said he planned to watch Baylor QB Robert Griffin III in the Alamo Bowl. “Tremendous talent, good player,” said Shurmur, who was asked if the Heisman Trophy winner fit the West Coast offense. “Good players at all positions fit every offense,” he said. … Shurmur would not say if the Browns plan to re-sign RB Peyton Hillis, who will be a free agent. Hillis, whose season was slowed by injuries and drama, hopes to stay in Cleveland. “I’m a Cleveland Brown at heart,” he said. “I fell in love with the fans and the city. We’ll see what happens.”