Connor Shaw, not Brian Hoyer, Likely to Start Sunday
The Cleveland Browns season ending game is likely to fall into the hands of Connor Shaw, and not Brian Hoyer after all:
Hoyer has a shoulder issue that has kept him out of practice and Johnny Manziel is done for the season with his hamstring injury. That leaves Shaw, the undrafted free agent out of South Carolina to finish the season.
The narrative is one that Browns fans are more than used to. The Browns have thrown 3rd string quarterbacks into seasons more than most teams use their backup offensive linemen. The only thing more Browns like would be if Shaw blows up in the last game and fans start calling for him to compete next year for the starting job.
For his part, Shaw is a unique combination of Hoyer and Manziel. The 6’1″ QB can be a quick decision leader but also has the ability to extend plays with his feet. He is ultra-competitive, hard working player who leaves it all out on the field.
For his career at SC Shaw threw for 6,074 yards, on 67% completion rate, and 56 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions. He was injury prone in college, partially due to his limited size and partially due to his reckless style.
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Tyler Thigpen will backup Shaw if Hoyer can’t go.
The game against the Baltimore Ravens has little importance for the Browns and could mean nothing for Ravens as well. If the San Diego Chargers win the Ravens will miss the playoffs. If the Chargers lose then the game against the Browns means everything. Since both games are happening at 1PM the Ravens will be putting everything into the game.
The Chargers are big favorites as today it was announced that the Chiefs’ starting QB, Alex Smith, is out for Sunday making the Chargers fight much easier. Much like the Ravens, the Chiefs will be facing a backup at the most important position on the field.
We will watch Shaw’s performance closely but will not read too much into any result, big win or loss, as a sign of what Shaw can do in the future. We know that SC fans love Shaw from his time in college.
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