Cleveland Browns have another new starting quarterback

With Dorian Thompson-Robinson in concussion protocol, Joe Flacco will be the Cleveland Browns fourth starting quarterback in 2023

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Once again, the Cleveland Browns are preparing for a change. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who has started three games this year, will be out due to a concussion in Week 13. That means Joe Flacco, the former Super Bowl winner for the Baltimore Ravens, is going to get the start against the Los Angeles Rams.

Flacco was signed to the practice squad recently and earlier this week, head coach Kevin Stefanski said he was elevated to the QB2 spot ahead of P.J. Walker, who started two games and appeared in four this season. That means Flacco will be the fourth starter the Browns have had this year.

Originally, the plan was to build the offense around Deshaun Watson but a shoulder injury suffered in Week 3 sent him to the bench. He was able to return and in all, started six games with the Browns going 5-1 in those starts — although in one of those he threw just five passes before Walker entered the game. Then, he was lost for the season when he suffered a more severe shoulder injury in a win over Baltimore. Thompson-Robinson was then placed ahead of Walker.

Walker wasn't the original backup, however. Cleveland first went with DTR but the rookie struggled in Week 4 against the Ravens. He did lead them to a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers when he returned to the lineup but the loss last week means he was 1-2 as a starter. Walker technically has a record of 1-1 and when all of these are combined, the Browns have found a way to go 7-4 despite being without Watson for essentially five games.

Flacco, who is 38 years old, spent the past three seasons with the New York Jets. He appeared in 12 games for them and they were just 1-8 in his nine starts. That lone win came against the Browns, a team he's had no problem beating in the past.

The hope now is that he can lead them to some wins and there's a renewed hope with him under center. Cleveland's defense is good enough to beat any team in the league and all they need from the veteran quarterback is for him to be a game-manager. There's no denying he can do this better than Walker, which is why the move was made.

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