Browns not naming starting quarterback for Jags, will be either Flacco or rookie Thompson-Robinson

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Joe Flacco got all of Cleveland's starting quarterback reps during the portion of Friday's practice open to the media, but Browns coach Kevin Stefanski declined to name his starter for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

Flacco had an impressive debut for Cleveland last weekend, the 38-year-old's first start in nearly one year, and is expected to play against the Jaguars (8-4).

And while that seems inevitable — and seemingly the best choice — in a game with massive AFC implications, Stefanski said after practice he was not ready to announce his starter “because you don't have to.”

It will be either Flacco or rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who cleared concussion protocol after sitting out last Sunday's game in Los Angeles. Thompson-Robinson got hurt in Cleveland's loss the previous week at Denver.

Stefanski has kept the Browns (7-5) in contention despite juggling QBs and dealing with several major injuries.

Cleveland lost Deshaun Watson last month with a season-ending shoulder injury, and the Browns have started four quarterbacks for just the third time since 1950.

It's safe to assume Stefanski will stick with Flacco, who looked sharp while passing for 254 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 36-19 loss to the Rams. It was Flacco's first game since last season's finale with the New York Jets.

Flacco was signed on Nov. 20 when Watson went down as protection in case of injury or if Thompson-Robinson struggled. The fifth-round pick from UCLA is 1-2 in three starts, and he was making nice progress before getting hurt against the Broncos.

The Browns did have a positive development Friday as No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper returned to practice after sustaining a concussion last week. He's listed as questionable.

Starting right tackle Dawand Jones (knee) is also questionable. The massive rookie was added to the injury report Friday and didn’t practice.



Tom Withers, The Associated Press