BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Cody Kessler, c’mon down.
At least we think.
Quarterback Josh McCown has been ruled out for this week’s game in Miami and it appears that Kessler will start in his place against the Dolphins but head coach Hue Jackson was coy and non-committal about Kessler starting.
“There is a good chance Cody will start this week,” Jackson said.
Well, if not Kessler then who?
“It would be Cody, but what I meant by that is until we get the gameplan going and those type of things,” Jackson said. “Obviously, he is the next guy up. Cody will be out there playing. There is no doubt about that. I would like to go through the gameplan, see where we are and watch a lot more of Miami and see what we need to do in order to put together an offense to have a chance to go out and compete, to have a chance to score points and win.”
Jackson did not provide specifics beyond saying it was a shoulder-clavicle issue for McCown but the 37-year old’s availability will be re-evaluated weekly going forward.
With McCown unavailable this week and assuming Kessler starts, the Browns need a backup QB. Kevin Hogan is on the practice squad and could be elevated to the 53 but Jackson said the team will look to sign another quarterback and will work out quarterbacks on Tuesday.
“We will do everything we can to see if we can help the position first and foremost,” Jackson said. “Obviously, Cody has to be the guy, but we are also going to keep searching around and making sure that we cross every T and dot every I and see if there is somebody else out there that can help our football team.”
The list of prospective emergency options is not great – Josh Freeman, Pat Devilin, T.J. Yates, Ricky Stanzi, Jimmy Clausen, Alex Tanney and Michael Vick to name a few.
“Regardless of how long or what the situation will be with Josh, it is important that we get another arm on our football team as fast as we can,” Jackson said. “I don’t think what the diagnosis is going to be after a week would say don’t do that. It is too important and too many things can happen this weekend.”
Kessler was a surprise third round pick by the Browns prompting Jackson to implore everyone to “trust me on this one” during the draft. The hope was that he’d be able to sit and watch this season while developing behind the scenes. That plan is now out the window.
“Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you are ready or not,” Jackson said. “You have to play. This situation right now, you have to play. It doesn’t matter if you are ready or not.”
Kessler is the third starting quarterback in as many games for the Browns, who lost Robert Griffin III to a broken bone in his left shoulder in week one and McCown to a left shoulder injury Sunday. Dating back to last season that saw the Browns start Johnny Manziel in Week 16 and Austin Davis in Week 17, that’s 5 different starters in the last 5 games.
Kessler, who was sacked 7 times in the preseason and his preseason debut at Green Bay included a pair of safeties, is also now the 26th starter for Cleveland since 1999.
The last team to start 3 different quarterbacks in their first 3 games of the season was the 2008 Chiefs according to Elias Sports. They went 2-14 and the last time the Browns were in this situation was 1988. They went 10-6 and made playoffs.