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Browns Win 3rd Straight

Cleveland — Quarterback Brandon Weeden replaced injured starter Brian Hoyer and rallied the Cleveland Browns to a 37-24 win Thursday night over the Buffalo Bills, who also lost starting rookie quarterback EJ Manuel with a knee injury.

Weeden threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter as the Browns (3-2) won their third straight and temporarily moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.

Safety T.J. Ward intercepted rookie Jeff Tuel’s pass and returned it 44 yards for a TD with 1:44 left to end any comeback hopes for the Bills (2-3).

Hoyer sustained a potentially serious right knee injury on a scramble in the first quarter, and Manuel was forced out after taking a helmet to his right knee on a run in the third. Neither returned and their injuries could impact both teams’ seasons.

Bucs Cut QB

Tampa, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman, one week after benching the fifth-year pro in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.

Freeman struggled the first three weeks of the season, completing just 45.7 percent of his passes.

He’s Tampa Bay’s career leader in completions and touchdown passes and is second in passing yards.

The Bucs (0-4) released the 25-year-old after contacting every NFL team in an unsuccessful attempt to trade him. The club must pay him the remaining $6.25 million of his salary for this season.

General manager Mark Dominik announced the move Thursday, saying the move was in the best interest of the winless Bucs and Freeman, who threw for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2012.