The Cleveland Browns are once again forced to shuffle their quarterbacks as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday. In a season filled with uncertainties and injuries, veteran passer Joe Flacco will step up to take the reins from rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who is currently in the concussion protocol. With the official announcement ruling Thompson-Robinson out for the game, Flacco has been given the opportunity to showcase his skills and lead the Browns to victory. This article delves into the impact of this quarterback change and how it may affect the team’s performance.
Joe Flacco, known for his successful stint with the Baltimore Ravens where he earned the Super Bowl MVP title in 2012, joined the Cleveland Browns on November 20th. Prior to this, Flacco remained an unsigned free agent for the first half of the season, patiently awaiting an opportunity to prove himself once again. Now, with the chance to start, Flacco expressed his excitement about the potential to make an impact on the field. As a seasoned professional, Flacco’s experience and football intelligence provide a glimmer of hope for a team facing adversity.
Flacco is no stranger to the Cleveland Browns, as his past encounters with them include throwing four touchdown passes in Week 2 last season during his time with the New York Jets. To the Browns’ dismay, Flacco led a stunning comeback victory for the Jets by throwing the game-winning pass to Garrett Wilson. This history adds an interesting dynamic to the upcoming game against the Rams, as Flacco aims to repeat his success against a different opponent.
Throughout the week, Flacco has been impressing teammates and coaches during practice with his precise throws and smooth delivery. Wide receiver Amari Cooper commended Flacco’s throwing motion, describing it as “poetry in motion.” This positive feedback instills confidence within the team, creating an atmosphere of renewed hope despite the challenges they face.
The Browns find themselves in familiar territory, starting their fourth quarterback in a single season. This has only occurred twice before in the history of the franchise, in 2008 and 1988. However, a unique opportunity presents itself as the Browns have the potential to have four different quarterbacks win games in the same season, a feat that has not been accomplished in the team’s history. In fact, the last NFL team to achieve this was the 2015 Houston Texans. Other teams that have achieved this milestone include the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers.
Impact of Injuries
Beyond the quarterback carousel, the Browns continue to face challenges with injuries to key players. Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward will again miss the game due to a shoulder injury, weakening the Browns’ defense. However, star defensive player Myles Garrett, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, is expected to play. These injuries undoubtedly impact the team’s overall performance and increase the pressure on Flacco and the rest of the squad to step up and deliver.
In addition to the injury troubles, the Browns received another blow with the suspension of wide receiver Michael Woods II. Woods, a sixth-round pick in 2021, violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season. His absence further depletes an already thin receiving corps and forces the team to rely on other players to step into larger roles.
The Browns’ Response
Despite the setbacks, the Cleveland Browns have shown resilience throughout the season, finding ways to compete and stay in the playoff race. Head coach Kevin Stefanski has instilled a “next man up” mentality, urging his players to embrace challenges and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. The team’s ability to rally around Flacco and make the most of his experience could be the key to their success against the Rams.
As the Cleveland Browns prepare to face the Los Angeles Rams with their fourth starting quarterback of the season, Joe Flacco steps into the spotlight. With a career that highlights his football intelligence and success, Flacco brings hope to a team grappling with injuries and obstacles. Although the challenges are significant, the Browns have a history of overcoming adversity. It’s now up to Flacco and the rest of the team to rise to the occasion and prove that they can contend with any circumstances thrown their way.