BEREA - The fog from Brandon Weeden's mind has lifted, which means the Browns quarterback has been cleared for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
Weeden admitted to being "foggy" after hitting his head on the leg of offensive tackle Joe Thomas in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. He gave way to Colt McCoy for the final two possessions while being evaluated in the locker room.
Weeden has passed every test since then and practiced Wednesday, although he was limited. All systems are go for Sunday in Oakland, barring an unforeseen setback.
Weeden was never seriously hurt. He said he felt fine when he went to dinner with his wife Sunday night, adding he's slept well every night.
There's no question that Weeden is anxious to continue to build on the win over the Steelers. He didn't like the idea of possibly not making the flight west on Friday.
"A lot of it is out of my hands," Weeden said. "I wanted to do my part and come back and play because I felt like I'm fine and I'm ready to go. It's not like it's an ankle or a hand or something. It's your brain. You have to be smart.
"That was my first and foremost worry; that I'm 100 percent before I even think about it. I'm going to be there, and I'm going to play."
Weeden's haste to return might be sparked by the next three opponents the Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins. The Raiders and Redskins are tied for last in the NFL in touchdown passes allowed (23). The Chiefs are tied in a group of teams that are next to last at 22.
On paper the stretch of three games is the easiest of the season. It follows a three-game stretch in which the Browns faced the strong defenses of the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys and Steelers.
"You can't compare one week to the next," Weeden said. "You look at the Oakland Raiders and I see a bunch of 6-6, 300-pound linemen that can rush the passer and guys on the back end that can cover.
"Going up against them, my main emphasis is executing the game plan, whether we're playing the Steelers, Raiders or Cowboys. You have to treat them differently because you don't know what to expect until you're ready to rock and roll and play on Sunday."
Weeden is coming off an average showing against the Steelers (17-of-26 for 158 yards, one touchdown and one interception). It was his first test against Dick LeBeau, the Steelers' crafty defensive coordinator.
"Growing up looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers, the first thing I think about is defense," Weeden said. "To be the quarterback going against that defense, I knew it was going to be a challenge. You can't get overwhelmed in the moment. You have to stay the course.
"You can't let it be bigger than the stage you're on. I understand the rivalry and the passion with our fans. More than anything I was just excited to play in it."
Coach Pat Shurmur has been trying to get Weeden to balance his aggressive nature with common sense.
"You never want him to force the football," Shurmur said. "You want him to make good decisions. On the interception he made last week, he made a good decision. If that ball was completed, we would have had a first down. He was throwing to the right guy, and the ball got tipped. Tipped balls are like fender-benders. They happen, but you don't want them to happen. I've seen improvement."