The Browns will start their fourth different quarterback this season, as veteran passer Joe Flacco will take over Sunday against the Rams.
Flacco, 38, replaces rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who sustained a concussion in last weekend’s loss to the Denver Broncos and remains in the protocol. Cleveland ruled out Thompson-Robinson on Friday, clearing the way for Flacco to make the start.
The Browns were already without Deshaun Watson, who underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery last month. PJ Walker has also started two games this season and will back up Flacco on Sunday.
Cleveland also will be without Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward, as he will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. Myles Garrett (shoulder) will play.
Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP with the champion Baltimore Ravens during the 2012 season, signed with Cleveland on Nov. 20. That move came a week after Watson suffered a fracture to his throwing shoulder.
“Joe’s a pro,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday. “I’ve been around pros, he’s right up there. He does his job. Very, very intelligent.”
Flacco said Wednesday that the potential to start again is “definitely exciting,” especially after he remained an unsigned free agent during the first half of the season while waiting for an opportunity.
“There’s so many things that add to it now, having young kids and feeling their excitement about it,” Flacco said. “And when you are away, it puts things in perspective a little bit.”
Flacco, who has thrown for 42,320 yards and 232 touchdowns in his career, started four games for the New York Jets in 2022.
His past four touchdown passes came against the Browns in Week 2 last season. To cap New York’s improbable 31-30 comeback victory over Cleveland, Flacco threw the game winner to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left.