The Cleveland Browns were in the unenviable position of having to replace their starting quarterback in Week 4 with Deshaun Watson dealing with a shoulder injury. With him out, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson started against the Baltimore Ravens — and it wasn't pretty.
Thompson-Robinson, who was a preseason star, threw for just 121 yards with three picks in a 28-3 loss. That performance led to the coaching staff making a switch according to Brad Stainbrook of the OBR.
Stainbrook says the Browns, who are still uncertain about Watson's status for Sunday, will turn to P.J. Walker if their starter is unable to play.
Watson has yet to practice fully since suffering his shoulder injury and reports are conflicting on just how serious things are. Kevin Stefanski said Watson was medically cleared to play against the Ravens but other reports make it sound more ominous.
Even Stefanski seems to have changed his tune saying Watson will play when he's functionally able, and wouldn't try and shed any optimism on his chances of playing this weekend.
Browns could be turning to a veteran QB against the 49ers
As tough of a test as the Ravens were for the rookie quarterback, they would be nothing compared to what he would see against the San Francisco 49ers defense. Arguably the best team in the NFL, they just humiliated the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5 with a 42-10 victory.
Linebacker Fred Warner was especially troublesome for Dak Prescott and would likely feast on the young quarterback.
This isn't to say P.J. Walker will come in and light up the scoreboard but he does offer more experience. He had seven career starts for the Carolina Panthers and led them to a 4-3 mark in those games.
The only question is whether or not the coaching staff will alter their game plan to accommodate for a backup — because it sure felt as though they didn't do so for DTR.