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Joe Flacco could start for Browns in Week 13

The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback depth chart has been a roller-coaster ride throughout the 2023 NFL season. Head coach Kevin Stefanski had to rely on other options after Deshaun Watson opted to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

Rookie play-caller Dorian Thompson-Robinson and PJ Walker had their chances and enjoyed some success in leading the Browns to a 7-4 record. However, there’s another plot twist after Thompson-Robinson went under concussion protocol after losing to the Denver Broncos.

However, the Browns will try to save their season with Joe Flacco on reserve. Cleveland signed the Super Bowl XLVII Most Valuable Player to their practice squad earlier this month. But with Thompson-Robinson sidelined, Flacco took over first-team reps at practice.

The rookie from UCLA must clear a five-phase process before an independent neurological consultant and a club physician can allow him to play. Flacco will most likely get the starting nod if he doesn’t finish the process until Sunday.

Experience is something the 38-year-old play-caller doesn’t lack. He has been in the league since 2008, when the Baltimore Ravens drafted him 18th overall. His NFL journey has taken him to five teams, including two stints with the New York Jets. Aside from the Ravens and the Jets, the former Pittsburgh and Delaware standout also played for the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles.

He won on the game’s biggest stage, leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory against the San Francisco 49ers. Coming into Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season, Joe Flacco has 3,881 completions for 42,320 yards and 232 touchdowns.

If Flacco gets the start on Sunday, he will have an opportunity to get his 100th regular season victory. But that result isn’t guaranteed because they will visit the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.

With the veteran quarterback at the helm, Cleveland’s offense will change because Flacco doesn’t have the scrambling ability that Walker and Thompson-Robinson have. Therefore, Browns receivers must be ready to field balls from Flacco all day if he plays.

-Lance Fernandez

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