CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – DeShone Kizer will start Sunday in London.
The question now is: will he finish the game?
“I’ve gone out there and I haven’t played to the best of my ability,” Kizer said Wednesday. “I’m putting this team in tough situations and yet I’m still provided another opportunity to go out and prove myself. “It’s about doing whatever I can just to have a complete game. It’s been almost a month since I’ve been able to go put and play in the second half and attempt to win the game.”
The rookie from Notre Dame has been benched by head coach Hue Jackson in each of his last 2 starts because of poor play – namely for throwing interceptions. Kizer threw 2 more last week before being sat down in the third quarter of a 12-9 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Kizer maintains he’s not worried about being on a short leash or Jackson having a quick hook Sunday.
“It’s a production-based industry,” Kizer said. “If I go out there and I’m not producing the way I [need] to, you’re going to have the same results.”
Kizer has thrown an NFL-worst 11 picks this season and just 3 touchdowns, but he won’t change his aggressive approach.
“You don’t ever have to worry about me not being aggressive,” Kizer said. “My instincts are that I’m always going to want to push the ball down the field but also accepting that I [can’t] put the ball in harms way.”
Kizer, who has thrown for 965 yards while completing 52.0 percent of his passes and a rating of 47.8, will face a Vikings defense that ranks fifth in several key categories including points allowed [17 (5th)], defense [283 yards (4th)] and run defense [76.6 (3rd)].
Cleveland enters the game at 0-7 while Minnesota is 5-2.
“There are not a lot of guys that hold themselves to the standards that I hold myself,” Kizer said. “It’s been pretty disappointing to have a start the way we’ve had. My ultimate goal is to come here and win games for this team, represent this organization the right way and I haven’t been on that path.”
Jackson said on Monday he may continue to rotate quarterbacks week-to-week or even within games as he sees fit.
Kizer’s struggles as a rookie aren’t a surprise and they certainly aren’t an indication he won’t have a successful career which is why Jackson should stick with him going forward. Just look to Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning as to why No. 7 should play from here on out.
Aikman went 0-11 as a starter his rookie season that saw him throw twice as many interceptions  as touchdowns  while Manning threw a record 28 interceptions and had 26 TD passes while going 3-13 his rookie year.
Kevin Hogan started Week 5, a 33-17 loss at Houston, and Cody Kessler, who was inactive for the first 5 weeks of the season, came off the bench last Sunday to complete 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards and an interception in the second half and overtime against the Titans.