DeShone Kizer named starter for third preseason game

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has tapped DeShone Kizer as the starting quarterback for the third preseason game of the year. Is this the start of the Kizer era?

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson made it official on Wednesday: rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer is the starting quarterback.

At least for Saturday’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jackson was true to his word that he would pick a starter on Wednesday and made the announcement via a statement on the team’s website:

"“This morning, I informed our quarterbacks that DeShone will be our starter for the third preseason game against Tampa. He has made a lot of progress by investing the time necessary to learn our offense, working hard to improve on his fundamentals while also effectively moving the offense in preseason games. Development is so important for a young quarterback, this is the next step he needs to take and he deserves this opportunity. We are very excited about seeing DeShone in the role of starter for this week, as he is certainly positioning himself well to earn the starting job heading into the regular season."

"“Much like DeShone, Brock, Cody and Kevin have worked extremely hard throughout training camp and have helped create a very supportive environment in our quarterback room. They’ve pushed each other, worked well together and we expect that to continue.”"

It is interesting to note that Jackson’s announcement designated Kizer as the starter for just Saturday’s preseason game – and not the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It may be nothing, but it does open the door slightly for Jackson to make one last change following the game against the Buccaneers.

That seems unlikely, however. Unless Kizer absolutely loses the plot against Tampa Bay, he will likely be named the actual starter sometime on Sunday.

The biggest unanswered question is if Jackson is naming Kizer the starter because he believes that Kizer is ready, or is it simply because the alternatives of Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler are just too much to contemplate.

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It is still a smart play by Jackson as Kizer can now take the full set of first-team reps the rest of the week. If he makes it through Saturday’s game without any calamities, Jackson and the coaching staff will have two full weeks to prepare Kizer for the start of the regular season and the Steelers.

We will have more to come throughout the day.