CLEVELAND — Brian Hoyer's story, seemingly pulled from a Disney movie script, took a cruel turn.
The Cleveland quarterback's season is over.
A lifelong Browns fan living out his boyhood dream by starting for his hometown team, Hoyer tore a knee ligament while running for a first down Thursday night against Buffalo and will miss the remainder of this season.
It's a devastating blow for Hoyer, who had waited five years — three as Tom Brady's backup in New England — to become an NFL starter and led the Browns to wins over Minnesota and Cincinnati while replacing an injured Brandon Weeden.
"This is disappointing," Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Friday on a conference call. "It's an unfortunate thing."
Chudzinski said an MRI taken Friday showed Hoyer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He will undergo surgery, ending his feel-good story after just three starts and with the Browns (3-2) rolling. Chudzinski said there is no other damage in Hoyer's knee, which got caught in the turf at FirstEnergy as he slid and was hit by Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.
The usual recovery time is nine months to one year, but for Hoyer the injury stole a chance to prove to Cleveland's front office he could be their franchise quarterback.
Chudzinski said there are no immediate plans to sign another quarterback and Weeden will return as Cleveland's starter.
Signed by Cleveland as a free agent in May, Hoyer, released by New England, Pittsburgh and Arizona in the past year, began the season as Cleveland's No. 3 quarterback. With Weeden out recovering from a sprained thumb, Hoyer made just his second NFL start in Week 3 and led the Browns to consecutive wins, directing clutch fourth-quarter drives and throwing clinching touchdown passes in both games.
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 Friday.
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.
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).
Darren McFadden missed a third straight day of practice because of a hamstring injury, making it all but certain the Oakland Raiders will be without their top running back for Sunday night's game against San Diego.
McFadden has been sidelined since getting hurt early in the first half of Oakland's 24-14 loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday. He is listed as doubtful on the team's injury report.
"He's gotten closer," coach Dennis Allen said Friday. "If he can be effective he'll be in there and play. If he can't be, then he won't be. It's really pretty simple."
McFadden, however, sounded less optimistic when speaking to reporters, saying he still feels pain just from walking.
"You can feel it a little bit. It's tight, sore," McFadden said. "Hamstrings are one of those things you want to be careful with. I'd rather miss one or two games than to come back and pop it and miss four or five."