Browns RB Jerome Ford Sends Message on QB Situation Amid Watson Uncertainty

Dorian Thompson-Robinson of the Cleveland Browns hands the ball off to Jerome Ford.

Getty Images Dorian Thompson-Robinson of the Cleveland Browns hands the ball off to Jerome Ford.

The Cleveland Browns quarterback situation is still murky after the bye week with Deshaun Watson missing practice on Monday but the team has confidence in rookie backup Dorian Thompson-Robinson if his number is called again.

Thompson-Robinson got the short-notice start against the Baltimore Ravens and did not rise to the occasion. The fifth-round rookie tossed three interceptions and did not show the level of promise he did in the preseason that made the team comfortable enough to trade away veteran backup Joshua Dobbs. The Browns lost 28-3 to the Ravens and headed into their bye week on a tough note.

Watson is still dealing with a shoulder issue and there’s a chance that Thompson-Robinson will have to go head-to-head against the ferocious San Francisco 49ers defense.

If there’s someone who knows about having big shoes to fill on the Browns’ roster it’s running back Jerome Ford, who is attempting to fill the void left by Nick Chubb, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. Ford had some thoughts on DTR’s first start.

“We kind of put our faith in DTR,” Ford said. “He’s a second-string quarterback, just like I was a second-string running back. So, when it was time for him to step up, we’re like, next man up. And we rallied behind him just like we rallied behind Deshaun.”

When asked if he thinks Thompson-Robinson would show more in his second potential start, Ford did not hesitate.

“Definitely,” Ford said. “Yep, definitely.”

Browns Mum on Deshaun Watson’s Status

The expectation is that Watson will be ready to roll for the Week 6 matchup against the 49ers. However, Watson missing practice on Monday is a cause for concern. On top of that, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was very vague on Watson’s status.

“He’s working really hard, doing everything that he’s being asked to do medically so that we can get him back out there,” Stefanski said on Monday, October 9. “He’ll be out there as soon as he’s ready and functionally ready.”

What “ready and functional” means might be up to interpretation. Stefanski disclosed that Watson was cleared medically to face the Ravens but decided he wasn’t ready to give it a go. That was a bit of a surprise to many, with Watson expressing during the week that he felt like he’d be ready to go.

The Browns need Watson to be ready as they take on a 5-0 49ers squad. San Francisco is fresh off a dominant 42-10 victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jerome Ford Struggling in Lead-Back Role With Browns

Things haven’t gone smoothly for Ford in his expanded role with Chubb out. He’s combined for just 44 rushing yards in his two starts at running back. He also has seven catches for 52 yards and a touchdown over that span.

Ford knew he wasn’t going to step in and be Chubb — a four-time Pro Bowler and one of the best running backs in the Browns’ history. He acknowledged there’s room for improvement but isn’t looking too far ahead or dwelling on his lack of success.

“I am just kind of taking it day by day and making sure my routine is on point every day and one game at a time,” Ford said.

The Browns have publicly expressed a lot of confidence in Ford, backing him as the lead-back in Cleveland.

“He’s had some really good moments thus far in the season,” Stefanski said. “Obviously, we want to get back to being more efficient and explosive in our run game, so he’s a big part of that. He has breakaway speed; I think is one of the things that we’ve seen from him. He’s a guy that has the ability to run in between the tackles, but he does have a legit breakaway speed, so he’s a guy that continues to work hard.”

The Browns have yet to shake up their running back room, so much of the load will continue to fall on Ford and veteran Kareem Hunt. Having Watson under center would make their jobs that much easier.

Read More