Browns Make Final Call on Joe Flacco, Rule Out Pro Bowl Defender vs. Rams

Joe Flacco, Browns

Getty Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns have made their decision at quarterback for their Week 13 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

The team announced on Friday, December 1, that Joe Flacco will get the starting nod as rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson continues to navigate the league’s concussion protocol.

“#Browns Joe Flacco will start vs Rams team says,” Mary Kay Cabot of reported on X.

Flacco will be the fourth QB to start a game for Browns in 12 games this season, joining Thompson-Robinson (three starts), P.J Walker (two starts) and Deshaun Watson (six starts).

Browns Rule Out Denzel Ward, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Marquise Goodwin vs. Rams

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward will be seeing a lot of Ja'Marr Chase on Sunday.

GettyCleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward will not play against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13 due to a lingering shoulder injury.

Cleveland ruled Thompson-Robinson out this week, which means Walker will serve as Flacco’s backup. Also sidelined for Sunday’s game will be two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward and perhaps the team’s fastest wide receiver in Marquise Goodwin.

“#Browns ruled out DTR, Denzel Ward, Marquise Goodwin,” Scott Petrak of BrownsZone reported Friday.

Goodwin continues to battle lingering concussion symptoms, while Ward is nursing a shoulder injury he sustained two weeks ago in the Browns’ victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward also missed last Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos due to his shoulder issue.

Joe Flacco Must Only Be Competent for Browns to Compete

The Cleveland Browns aren't ready to name Joe Flacco the starter just yet.

GettyThe Cleveland Browns will start quarterback Joe Flacco against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Somewhat ironically, Flacco’s last win came against the Browns in Week 2 of last season while he was captaining the New York Jets offense. Unfortunately, that is his only win in the past three years.

ESPN’s Mina Kimes told the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz on Wednesday that Cleveland can expect “competent quarterback play” out of Flacco against the Rams, and potentially moving forward if he holds onto the starting job for whatever reason. And considering the Browns’ roster construction, that may be enough to get the job done on a regular basis.

Walker has largely performed poorly this season, yet Cleveland is 1-1 with him as a starter and 2-1 in games which he played the majority of snaps. Thompson-Robinson was underwhelming against the Steelers until completing 4-of-4 passes on the Browns’ final drive, leading the offense into field-goal range and securing a 3-point victory.

Cleveland boasts the best defense in the NFL, surrendering just under 248 yards of total offense per game. The team is also third in rushing offense with 139.5 yards per contest, according to The Football Database.

Amari Cooper, the Browns’ top wide receiver, is having another successful season and is expected to play Sunday in L.A. despite suffering a rib injury against the Broncos that knocked him out of last week’s game. Flacco will also have tight end David Njoku at his disposal, who is on pace for a career year in both receptions and receiving yards.

Cleveland is 7-4 and currently third in the AFC North Division. Were the playoffs to begin today, the Browns would be the No. 6 seed and would take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida on Wildcard Weekend.

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