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Browns name Joe Flacco QB2, opening door for start vs. Rams

LOS ANGELES — The Cleveland Browns have elevated veteran Joe Flacco as their No. 2 quarterback behind injured starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson, potentially putting Flacco in line to start Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Thompson-Robinson remains in the concussion protocol and sat out Wednesday’s practice.

Flacco, the 2013 Super Bowl MVP while with the Baltimore Ravens, would be the fourth quarterback to start for the Browns this season.

“Big, strong arm. Obviously, he can make every throw,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said of 38-year-old Flacco. “He’s done a very nice job in the meeting room, getting to know his teammates, getting to know the system. He’s done a nice job.”

Thompson-Robinson started the previous two games for Cleveland but suffered a concussion during a 29-12 loss at the Denver Broncos this past Sunday.

PJ Walker, who replaced Thompson-Robinson during the third quarter in Denver, has two starts himself this season.

The Browns, however, opted to move Flacco into the No. 2 role this week above Walker.

After sitting out more than half the season waiting for an opportunity, Flacco finally signed with the Browns on Nov. 20. The move came a week after Cleveland lost starting quarterback Deshaun Watson for the year with a fracture to his throwing shoulder. Watson had season-ending surgery Nov. 21 in Los Angeles, where he is currently rehabilitating.

The Browns are practicing nearby at UCLA this week as they prepare to play the Rams.

Flacco has thrown for 42,320 yards and 232 touchdowns in his career. He most recently started games for the New York Jets during the 2022 season.

In Week 2 last season, Flacco led the Jets to an improbable fourth-quarter comeback in Cleveland. In that game, Flacco threw four touchdown passes, including the game winner to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds remaining.

“I definitely believe I can still play,” Flacco said last week. “I’m a veteran guy that’s been around a lot at this point in the season with a team that’s doing well. So, I think there’s a lot of different things that I can bring to the table. …

“Whatever my role ends up being and wherever this takes me, then I’ll do my best at that.”

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