5 Realistic Candidates for Browns Backup QB Job

What if P.J. Walker gets injured while Deshaun Watson is out? Suddenly Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the quarterback and who is the backup? The Cleveland Browns need another plan.
Aug 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kellen Mond (7) in
Aug 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kellen Mond (7) in / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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David Blough, Detroit Lions practice squad

David Blough was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in the John Dorsey era in 2019, and then traded to Detroit when there was no room on the roster. Still, he impressed the organization, and maybe it makes sense to maintain some organizational ties to a journeyman quarterback on an emergency basis.

He has started seven games for Detroit and Arizona, all of them losses, completing 57.0% of his passes. In 2022, with Arizona, he posted a passer rating of 82.7 in two starts, which is not bad.

He has definitely show improvement since the 2019 season when he was forced to start five games as a rookie due to injuries to Matt Stafford and Jeff Driskel. Frankly, that was a disaster as his passer rating was only 64.0 (or QBR of 34.0 if you prefer). We can see evolution in his game, making him a worthwhile candidate on an emergency basis.

Again, you're not getting Tom Brady to come out of retirement, but you might get David Blough for a month.

Ben DiNucci, Denver Broncos Practice Squad

True football addicts will recognize Ben DiNucci as the leading passer of the XFL's Seattle Sea Dragons, where he threw passes to Josh Gordon, of all people. Cowboys fans will recognize him as a former backup to Dak "the Franchise" Prescott.

DiNucci started one game in 2020, but led the team to a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-9, going 21 for 40 for 180 yards with no TDs and no INTs. Needless to say, those were "game manager yards, not likely to win favor with the coaching staff, so DiNucci was banished to the XFL.

In what amounts to minor league football, DiNucci aired it 374 times, completing 242 passes (64.75) for 2671 yards. That's 7.1 yds/att. He had a 20/13 TD/INT ratio. In short, he was a star. A.J. McCarron was perhaps his biggest rival. McCarron is now ensconced on Cincinnati's practice squad.

DiNucci will probably play in the NFL again. Third string quarterback is probably the right level at this phase of his career.