In a notable development within the Cleveland Browns organization, veteran quarterback Joe Flacco has returned to the practice squad following his commendable performance against the Los Angeles Rams. In what was his first start of the season, Flacco, 38, demonstrated a commendable command of the Browns' offense, completing 23 out of 44 passes for a total of 254 yards, along with two touchdowns.
Despite a critical interception in the fourth quarter, his overall performance has sparked conversations about the quarterback lineup for the Browns. Flacco's experience and skill were evident in the game, raising questions about the Browns' next move regarding their quarterback choice.
With rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson still under concussion protocol and PJ Walker's inconsistent performance, Flacco's recent showing puts him in a favorable position. Head coach Kevin Stefanski, however, has not yet made a decision on who will lead in the upcoming crucial game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a match pivotal for the Browns' season prospects.
Flacco's Roster Maneuver
The decision to revert Flacco to the practice squad is part of the procedural norms in the NFL. A veteran player like Flacco can be elevated from the practice squad thrice before a permanent addition to the active roster is required.
Moreover, the Browns have the option to protect up to four players weekly, and Flacco is a probable candidate for this protection, given the current quarterback injuries across the league and his recent successful performance.
Post-game, Flacco expressed a mix of self-criticism and confidence. He acknowledged the interception but also conveyed his desire for another opportunity as a starter, citing his affinity for high-pressure, closely contested games.
Flacco's performance becomes even more noteworthy considering he was without top receiver Amari Cooper, who sustained a concussion in the second quarter. Looking ahead, the Browns might face a Jaguars team without their starting quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, who is dealing with an ankle injury.
If Lawrence is unavailable, backup C.J. Beathard, with a career record of 2-10 as a starter and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 18:14, is expected to step in. Jaguars coach Doug Pederson has expressed confidence in Beathard, emphasizing his experience and readiness to lead.
This scenario sets the stage for an intriguing match-up, where quarterback decisions could significantly impact the game's outcome. The Browns, aiming to break a two-game losing streak, may find an advantageous situation against the Jaguars, depending on the health and availability of both teams' quarterbacks.