Browns Continue to Frustrate Fans With Approach to Joe Flacco & QB Situation

Despite signing veteran QB Joe Flacco earlier this week, the Browns still haven't revealed what his role will be this weekend.
Cleveland Browns fans continue to be frustrated as the team refuses to reveal what Joe Flacco's role will be in Week 12.
Cleveland Browns fans continue to be frustrated as the team refuses to reveal what Joe Flacco's role will be in Week 12. / Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are just two days away from facing the Denver Broncos in Week 12 and fans still have no idea how Joe Flacco will be used. The 38-year-old quarterback was signed to Cleveland's practice squad earlier this week following Deshaun Watson's season-ending shoulder surgery.

Browns fans hoped for some clarity ahead of Friday's media scrum, but the coaching staff had other ideas. When asked if Flacco would be Dorian Thompson-Robinson's backup come Sunday, head coach Kevin Stefanski delivered a non-answer by saying he's "good with the guys we have."

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Assuming the quote means that Stefanski is confident in Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker's ability to deliver wins down the stretch, he might want to rethink his approach.

Cleveland is only 2-2 when Watson doesn't start compared to 5-1 with him under center. A big part of the difference is that the backup duo has only completed 92-of-178 (51.7%) combined passes for 913 passing yards while throwing nine interceptions to just one touchdown pass.

And out of 46 eligible QBs this season, DTR and Walker rank second- and fifth-worst, respectively when it comes to passer rating (42.4 and 51.3). That isn't exactly a recipe for success if Cleveland wants to capture its first AFC North crown in nearly 35 years.

If that isn't concerning enough, the Browns are only averaging 13.8PPG when Thompson-Robinson and Walker start. They're nearly doubling that number in Watson's appearances (28.7 PPG).

I'm not saying that Flacco can come in and replicate Watson's success. After all, he still needs to learn Cleveland's playbook and could use some extra reps to get on the same page with the team's pass-catchers.

But would it really hurt to have him as the No. 2 QB in Week 12? He'd be better insurance than Walker if DTR gets hurt, proven by his averaging 210.2 passing yards while throwing for five TDs (with three INTs) in four starts with the New York Jets last season. Plus having Flacco as the third-stringer would only limit him to playing if both options in front of him get hurt on Sunday.

Flacco is still confident that he still has in the tank, leaving time to tell if he'll see the chance to prove it at some point this season. For now, it looks like he might have to bide his time on the practice squad until Stefanski comes to his senses.

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