Couch Doubtful, Green Ready For Season Opener

By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Tim Couch probably will not play Sunday, while running back William Green will be ready.

Coach Butch Davis said Friday that backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb will probably start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Couch has a sore right arm after tearing scar tissue near his elbow in the preseason.

"It could be a few days. It could be a few weeks," Couch said. "It's just basically according to how quickly my body will heal."

Rookie running back William Green missed practice Thursday with a back spasm. Green, added to the injury report and listed as probable, ran full speed during practice Friday and should be able to play.

"He ran like a racehorse today," Davis said.

Couch, who tore scar tissue near his elbow in the exhibition season, was encouraged following an evaluation Thursday by orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala.

Andrews told Couch that he needs to throw the ball, rather than rest his arm, to help his recovery. Couch said he was told to back off from throwing when he feels pain in his arm. He threw about 40 passes Friday.

"I've tried everything I can do to get healthy," Couch said. "Even though I've gotten better and am throwing the ball every day, today I can't go out and make the throws I normally make."

Couch won't rule out playing Sunday and wants to wait until game time to make a decision.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)