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Browns not ready to name starting quarterback

CLEVELAND — This summer saga, packed with drama, celebrity and clumsiness, isn’t quite over for the Browns.

Hoyer vs. Manziel marches on.

Cleveland first-year coach Mike Pettine still hasn’t chosen his Week 1 starting quarterback, and that’s not his fault. Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel haven’t convinced him — or anyone, really — that they deserve the job.

Pettine had been expected to announce during a teleconference on Tuesday whether Hoyer, the inexperienced veteran and hometown hero coming back from knee surgery, or Manziel, the hyped rookie and former Heisman Trophy winner, would start the Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh.

But the decision has been delayed and it could carry through Cleveland’s third preseason game on Saturday.

Pettine said Cleveland’s coaching staff will meet tonight and could then choose a starter. Maybe.

“We’re not in position to make it at this point in time,” Pettine said of an announcement many Browns fans have been anxiously awaiting for months. “We’ll decide later if we’re ready to name a starter. We could have one named, and I’m not ruling that out. That’s something we’re going to discuss. And if we do have to wait until after the next game, so be it.

“We’re going to weigh everybody’s opinion. I’m very clearly on record: I would like to make a decision, and that’s still very much a possibility.”

Pettine reiterated that “all options are on the table,” meaning he could name Hoyer or Manziel or push a decision back until after the Browns host the St. Louis Rams in their third exhibition.

Pettine’s choice grew much tougher after Hoyer and Manziel both played poorly in a 24-23 exhibition loss at Washington on Monday night.

Hoyer started and missed wide-open receivers and appeared to be buckling under the pressure of not being able to put an end to his competition with Manziel.

Hoyer finished 2 of 6 for 16 yards, hardly the numbers he needed to solidify starting.

“It was embarrassing,” Hoyer said.

Manziel’s most memorable moment may have been when he made an obscene gesture toward the Redskins’ sideline, an act Pettine called “extremely disappointing” and will likely result in a fine from the NFL. When he was only using his right hand to throw, Manziel completed 7 of 16 passes for 65 yards and one touchdown, which came against Washington’s backups.

Pettine said the quarterbacks weren’t the only ones who had unsatisfactory games.

“There were a lot of guys that had some plays they’d want to take back,” he said. “I just think it was overall inconsistency on the offense. It’s hard for a quarterback to look good when the guys around them aren’t playing well.”

KAEPERNICK’S FOOT: The 49ers last year reined in Colin Kaepernick’s running plays to save their starting quarterback from excessive wear and tear and because he suffered a significant injury to his foot.

Kaepernick, who during the season joked that the issue was a hangnail on his pinkie toe, revealed the actual diagnosis in an interview with the Sacramento Bee this week. He said he suffered a chipped bone on his forefoot and a ruptured capsule in the ball of his foot when a Seahawks defender landed on it during a Week 2 loss in Seattle.

“Running down the sideline and went down,” Kaepernick said. “And I think it was one of their linemen or linebackers landed on my foot when I was on the ground.”

The injury prevented him from pushing off with the foot like he was accustomed and it diminished his acceleration. Kaepernick rushed nine times for 87 yards against the Seahawks. He didn’t have more than 20 yards rushing again until a Week 7 win against Tennessee. His completion percentage in that span of four games was 53 percent; it was 60 percent for the other 12 in the regular season.

MCCOY’S TOE WOES: Chip Kelly joked that he does not think LeSean McCoy will “ever play again.”

The Eagles coach took a sarcastic approach Tuesday to the attention devoted to McCoy’s left big toe, which kept the running back out of practice on Sunday. McCoy said his toe was sore and compared it to a less severe form of turf toe.

Kelly’s nothing-to-see-here approach is not atypical regarding player injuries, but he’s quickly learning that an injured toe for an Eagles Pro Bowl running back — no matter how mild — can raise the blood pressure throughout the region.

“He practiced full Monday, and he’s fine,” Kelly said. “It’s not as big an issue as I think anybody’s made it out to be.”

REDSKINS AND FERGUSON: The “Hands up, don’t shoot” protest has made its way to the NFL.

The Washington Redskins secondary emerged from the stadium tunnel during pregame introductions Monday night with hands raised and palms forward.

It was a show of solidarity with the people in Ferguson, Missouri, who are protesting the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Eleven players took part as the team was preparing to face the Cleveland Browns.

Safety Ryan Clark said Brown “could have been any one of us. That could have been any one of our brothers, our cousins. ... When you get an opportunity to make a statement and be more than a football player, it’s good.”

Protesters have gathered daily in Ferguson since Brown was fatally was shot by a police officer Aug. 9.

SIMPSON APPEALS: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has appealed a pending three-game suspension for a repeat violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Simpson confirmed Tuesday that he was absent from practice Monday to attend a hearing on his case at league headquarters in New York. Simpson said he “just told them the truth,” but he acknowledged he was unsure whether his argument would persuade the NFL to reduce or eliminate any punishment.

Simpson was arrested last November on suspicion of drunken driving when his sports car broke down on a freeway just outside of downtown Minneapolis. He pleaded guilty to careless driving and refusing to submit to a chemical test, avoiding jail time for community service and two years of probation.

Simpson served a three-game suspension to start the 2012 season.

Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles during the second half against Washington on Monday. AP PHOTO