7-3 Cleveland Browns signed veteran quarterback Joe Flacco will join the practice squad on Monday, but will retain rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson as the starter at least through Sunday’s upcoming 5-5 win over the Denver Broncos.
“Joe’s role is to support this team,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, per, told reporters on Monday Jake Trotter from ESPN. “He’ll be great at it [quarterback] room. He will be great for this team.”
Thompson-Robinsondrafted in the fifth round, he failed to impress when he completed Completed 19 of 36 passes for 121 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 28–3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week four on October 1.
After Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 10, Thompson-Robinson completed 24 of 43 attempts for 165 yards and an interception in Sunday’s 13-10 home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most importantly, the 24-year-old completed four passes, setting up what became the game-winning field goal.
“There were a lot of things that came into play,” Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt said of Thompson-Robinson while speaking with NFL pundit Albert Breer Sports Illustrated. “I saw it grow. He came with a different mentality [this week]. Attack each workout like it’s a game by simply getting ready. I feel like he was very prepared. … I saw him read well, throw good catchable balls for us and allow the quarterbacks to make plays.
Flacco, The 38-year-old played four games for the New York Jets last season and could be on Cleveland’s active roster along with backup PJ Walker for the game against Denver. Meanwhile, ESPN statistics show that the Browns defense is allowing an NFL-best 243.3 yards per game. Cleveland ranks sixth with an average of 18.0 points per contest.
“The ceiling is as far as we can go,” Hunt added of a Browns team that would do it qualify to the playoffs if the tournament starts before Thanksgiving. “We’ll just find a way to win no matter what. We just have to find a way to win and play as a team. It was a team victory.”
Flacco, the most valuable player in Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013, will be waiting for an opportunity to potentially win against the Browns if Thompson-Robinson slips. From Monday afternoon chance checker placed Cleveland as a 2.5-point underdog against Denver.