Flacco will come in and play a “mentor” role for Thompson-Robinson, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Flacco, who will turn 39 in January, will likely jump PJ Walker on the depth chart once he gets a handle on the offense, and the Browns can turn to the former Super Bowl MVP if things go south with their young gun.
Thompson-Robinson hanging on to the starting quarterback spot was also reported by Zac Jackson of The Athletic. However, he noted, Flacco could be an option in the coming weeks.
“Right now, expect Thompson-Robinson to remain the Browns’ starter and for the team’s primary focus to be on the rookie’s improvement,” Jackson said. “But Flacco is a big, strong-armed insurance policy who could be an option at some point in December.”
Browns Praise Dorian Thompson-Robinson After Win
The Browns worked out Flacco on Friday following the news of Deshaun Watson’s season-ending shoulder injury. He was the only quarterback the Browns took a closer look at after evaluating their options.
Cabot pointed out that having Flacco installed as a veteran leader in the quarterback room is important with Watson likely departing from the team for a significant stretch of time as he gets surgery on the broken bone in his shoulder and begins his rehab on the West Coast.
Flacco has seen it all in his 15 seasons and is familiar with the AFC North, spending the majority of his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Browns started Thompson-Robinson against the Steelers on Sunday and he was able to help them to a 13-10 victory. The rookie left much to be desired for most of the afternoon but came in clutch down the stretch with a game-winning drive.
“Those are big moments where you’re looking for your guy to come through. He came through,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said after the game. “Made some big plays throughout that drive, made big plays throughout the game. I know it wasn’t perfect at all times, but he came through when it mattered.”
Thompson-Robinson also got a vote of confidence from the defense, with cornerback Greg Newsome showing his support.
“We’re gonna ride with 17,” Newsome said after the game. “I told him he’s gonna lead us to the promised land.”
The Browns moved to 7-3 with the win. With sole possession of second place in AFC North, they remain firmly in the division race, a half-game behind the Ravens.
Browns Looking Forward to Joe Flacco’s ‘Wisdom’
The Browns are aiming for postseason success, and Flacco’s addition is a strategic move in that direction. With a 10-5 playoff record, Flacco brings a wealth of postseason experience that is largely absent in the current roster. His presence is expected to be invaluable, especially in mentoring and guiding the core players who lack significant playoff exposure.
“Maturity and experience, incredible wisdom that, I mean as much as Deshaun has played, Flacco has seen more,” Myles Garrett said Friday after Flacco’s workout. “He’s been to the highest levels. He’s won. And he can provide that a little bit of a mentor role if he doesn’t see the field — being there and being a consistent leader.”
“I had a great time with him,” Moore said. “He’s a great leader. He’s a vet and I know anyone that would be around him would have a good time and learn a lot.”
The Browns face the streaking Denver Broncos next week on the road. Denver has won four games in a row.