Browns: 3 Big Questions in their battle against the Denver Broncos
By John Suchan
The Cleveland Browns have many questions to try and answer on Thursday Night Football against the Denver Broncos and fans are just hoping for some clarity
How the World turns. In just one week and shortened week at that, the Cleveland Browns have lost their starting quarterback and other starting running back to injuries and they now will try to prepare to play the always dangerous Denver Broncos.
The announcement that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Kareem Hunt would be sidelined for this game has added an additional layer of stress to Browns faithful and have them questioning what on Earth should we expect tonight?
Here are a few of those questions that I’m sure you’ve thought about in the last 24 to 48 hours.
Can Case Keenum win this “must-win” game for Cleveland Browns?
If this question was posed about Keenum a few weeks ago, I’d immediately suggest the Browns league-leading rushing game, behind rumblings of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, would be a nice go-to for the Browns and thus not forcing the weight of the world on Keenum’s shoulders tonight.
I should stay away from talking about shoulders.
Anyway, so can this 33-year-old veteran journeyman backup quarterback steal the show tonight down at First Energy Stadium?
I’d be confident in saying yes, too if the Browns offensive linemen were all healthy and playing well, but they’re not either and so that answer might be a bit harder to guarantee.
Keenum does have a history of playing for Browns coach Kevin Stefanski when they both were with the Minnesota Vikings. That year 2017 was pretty awesome for the Vikings and Keenum provided a nice season going 12-3 in his starts.
The Vikings made it to the playoffs and Keenum is remembered for being the guy to get his 61-yard pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the last play of the playoff game that Diggs proceeded to race to the end zone with to upend the New Orleans Saints. It will probably go down as one of the finest moments in Keenum’s career.
Keenum has moved around a lot in the league. He actually played and started for the Denver Broncos back in 2018 prior to coming over to the Browns a couple of seasons ago. He went 6-10 that season with the Broncos.
Statistically, over his 71 game career, Keenum has 75 touchdowns to 47 interceptions. He’s been able to win in the starting role too as he did with the Vikings.
The discussion this week prior to Keenum getting the call to play tonight was that a Baker Mayfield injured would be better than a healthy Keenum in his place for this game.
Did you watch the game last week? Do you really want Mayfield trotting out there with one good arm and risking more shoulder issues or some other type of injury?
This move by the Browns in making the call to sit Mayfield is wise. I’d even recommend sitting Mayfield a couple more games if that shoulder injury is as serious as it’s been reported. I don’t believe the opportunity at winning has gone down now that Mayfield is resting. Rather, this gives the Browns offense a different player to try out and see if this team can scamp out some wins in Mayfield’s absence.
Mayfield will be back, but he risks that chance if he keeps going out there recklessly.
If the patched-up offensive line can give their new quarterback an ounce of time, then Keenum can get the job done.