The Cleveland Browns are signing quarterback Joe Flacco to their practice squad, team sources said. ESPN was the first to report the news. Here’s what you need to know:
Browns’ Dorian Thompson-Robinson relishes second chance: ‘I know what to expect now’
Why did Cleveland make this decision?
The Browns have had days to evaluate their options, and the team focused on Flacco before practice late last week. He brings experience to the fourth grade, and his comfort with the offense should grow over the next two weeks. The Browns will travel to Los Angeles after next week’s Denver game, where they will spend the rest of the week before a Week 13 game against the Rams. That means everything will happen as the Browns prepare for the stretch run and Flacco continues to learn the offense.
For now, expect Thompson-Robinson to remain the Browns’ starter and the team’s main focus to be on the starter’s improvement. But Flacco is a big, strong-armed insurance policy that could be an option sometime in December.
Thompson-Robinson threw 43 passes against the Steelers. Only two of them traveled more than 10 yards in the air, and the average target depth was 3.6 yards. Some of it was part of a very conservative game plan, but some of it he just doesn’t have great arm strength. Eventually, the Browns will need something in the passing game downfield.
What’s left of Flacco? Let’s see in a few weeks if the Browns are really willing to find out. – Zach Jackson, Browns beat writer
Flacco played four games for the New York Jets last year — and led the Browns on a wild comeback in the final two minutes early last season. In 11 seasons as a starter for the Baltimore Ravens, Flacco has 9 wins as a starter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Ravens drafted Flacco in the first round in 2008, and after leaving the Ravens in 2019, Flacco spent one season with the Denver Broncos and three with the Jets. Flacco won Super Bowl XLVII MVP for the Ravens.
Five Cleveland Browns Takeaways After Deshaun Watson’s Injury, Including Super Bowl Dreams
Flacco expressed interest in re-signing with the Jets after Aaron Rodgers was injured, but the team decided to stick with Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle and eventually added Trevor Siemian to the practice squad.
This is the 10th time since the Browns returned to the league in 1999 that they have had to use at least 3 starters in a season.
Jackson: Following Deshaun Watson’s injury, the Browns’ season is in danger of turning sour.
(Photo: Perry Knotts / Getty Images)