Browns Make Statement on Joe Flacco’s Starting Status

Getty Images Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has yet to name Joe Flacco his starting quarterback.

The Cleveland Browns are still not ready to publicly say whether or not Joe Flacco will be the starting quarterback this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Browns skipper Kevin Stefanski spoke to the media on Wednesday and reinforced his stance that they’re going to wait it out before naming their starter.

“We’ll see how it goes this week,” Stefanski said. “Dorian’s still in the protocol, but he’s working his way through. We’ll make that decision at the appropriate time, but I want to see how this week goes.”

As Stefanski mentioned, Thompson-Robinson is still in protocol. However, the rookie did practice on Wednesday for the first time since suffering being concussed against the Denver Broncos on November 26.

“He’s working very hard to improve,” Stefanski said. “He’s made good progress.”

Flacco got the starting nod against the Los Angeles Rams and gave the Browns some of the best quarterback play they have seen this season. Flacco completed 23-of-44 of his passes for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His lone mistake was a costly fourth-quarter interception that turned the tide of the game.

“I think he’s a pro, he’s been around, he’s been very well coached in his career, so all those nuances about the play action game, he’s been coached up very hard on those things,” Stefanski said of Flacco. “So, not surprised, but it’s something that he’s worked hard at throughout his career.”

Browns Pleased With Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s Progression

Cleveland Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has yet to clear concussion protocol.

Getty ImagesCleveland Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has yet to clear concussion protocol.

For most, it doesn’t seem like much of a debate between Flacco and the other two options — Thompson-Robinson and PJ Walker. However, Stefanski threw some support behind Thompson-Robinson and the progress he’s made during his first year in the NFL.

“I think Dorian continues to get better. We’ve talked about him just think back to preseason, got better throughout the preseason. I think he has gotten better throughout this season,” Stefanski said. “I think we’ve all seen his skill set, know what type of player he is, but I think he’s working very hard to continue to improve as this season wears on.”

Part of Stefanski not naming a starter could be a strategy. Keeping the Jaguars guessing makes them prepare for two very different quarterbacks. Flacco is a classic pocket passer, while DTR can hurt teams as a dual threat.

“There’s multiple ways to play this position,” said Stefanski. “There’s multiple ways to be impactful for your offense. And regardless of who our quarterback is, you have to play through the strengths of your quarterback.”

Jaguars May Be Without QB Trevor Lawrence

The Browns could catch a break this week, with Jaguars starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence suffering a high-ankle sprain on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 4.

Lawrence hasn’t been ruled out for the Jags’ Week 14 matchup against the Browns and said he’s feeling better than expected.

“The team is always the priority,” Lawrence said. “I’m never going to put myself or the team in a position to where we’re at a high risk or not going to play our best because I’m not able to do my job. Those are all questions you have to answer throughout the course of the week. For me, it’s just doing everything I can every second of the day to get back as soon as possible, whenever that is. That’s the whole thought process behind everything.”

If Lawrence is unable to go, the Browns would face C.J. Beathard. He’s 2-10 overall as a starter in his career.

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