BEREA - It's looking more probable that Thad Lewis will start at quarterback for the Browns on Sunday in the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy both missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with shoulder injuries. Lewis continued to take snaps with the first team offense. Josh Johnson, who was signed earlier this week, led the scout team.
Offensive coordinator Brad Childress is preparing as if Lewis will start. Coach Pat Shurmur hasn't ruled out Weeden and McCoy, but it's rare for a player to start after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
Childress believes that Lewis won't be overwhelmed by the challenge.
"It's not daunting to him," Childress said. "I think he's actually kind of looking forward to maybe the opportunity to play."
Lewis will have to rein in his emotions, especially going against the Steelers' aggressive defense.
"Not too high and not too low," Childress said when asked about Lewis' best qualities. "He's a flat-line guy, and I think that is what you look for in quarterbacks. You don't want them up ready to jump off a building, and you don't want to have to dig them out of a hole."
Lewis might be better prepared than Childress for what the Steelers will throw at him.
"He's had more Pittsburgh Steeler meetings than I have, having been here last year and playing them twice," Childress said. "Then having played them this year within a month. I think he knows their base tendencies in that defense. What you don't want to do is give him a litany of remember this; don't forget this; what about that. You make a guy unbelievably tentative. You want his God-given athletic ability to come out."
GOING OFF: Childress joked about pulling a Herm Edwards "you play to win the game" remark when asked why the Browns continued to pass the ball after McCoy replaced the injured Weeden and trailing the Broncos by three scores.
"Would you like me to wax like Herman Edwards right now," Childress said. "Perhaps that would encapsulate my thoughts that you play to win the game."
AWARDS TIME: The Cleveland chapter of the Pro Football Writers' Association has selected kicker Phil Dawson as Player of the Year and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson as the Dino Lucarelli Good Guy Award winner.
Dawson became the first Browns kicker selected to the Pro Bowl. His 96.6 percent average on field goals (28-of-29) leads the AFC. He is 6-of-6 from 50 yards or longer.
The Good Guy Award is given to a player for his cooperation with the media and for the way he carries himself in the community and with his teammates. Jackson has a team-best 114 tackles.
DIRTY POOL?: Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron was asked if the hit Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley put on cornerback Sheldon Brown was dirty. Stokley, who was running a crossing route, gave Brown a concussion with a hit to the head area. Brown was covering another receiver running in the opposite direction.
"I don't know if it's dirty," Jauron said. "Clearly it's a planned play. They definitely picked him."
INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Sheldon Brown (concussion), tight end Jordan Cameron (concussion), McCoy, Weeden and running back Trent Richardson (ankle) all missed practice for a second straight day.
Out for a second straight day for the Steelers were defensive backs Curtis Brown (ankle) and Keenan Lewis (knee), safety Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and receiver Mike Wallace (hip). Added to the list Thursday was offensive tackle Mike Adams.