The Cleveland Browns have decided to use former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as their starter for Sunday’s Week 13 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, Ian Rapoport and the NFL announced on Friday.
Less than two weeks after joining the organization, Flacco is set to become the fourth quarterback to start a game for Cleveland this season. This will mark the first game played by Flacco since he appeared in the 2022 season finale as a member of the New York Jets.
The Browns will elevate Flacco from their practice squad ahead of Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for roster moves and then throw him on the field as their starter come Sunday's kick-off.
"I love playing this game," Flacco told Browns reporters this week, per Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. "Anytime an opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to be patient and see what’s in store for you."
Watson is out for the season, rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson is in concussion protocol, and the Browns don't trust P.J. Walker to start. Thus, it's Flacco Time.
The Browns (7–4) are still in contention to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC North if they can overtake the Ravens (9-3), although it's going to be tough for Cleveland considering their offensive issues all year long. A win this weekend (with Baltimore enjoying their bye week) will close the gap to a measly one-game distance between the Browns and the Ravens.
Will Joe Flacco end up facing his former team the Baltimore Ravens?
If the Ravens and the Browns make the postseason, they could meet in the playoffs. That's the only way Flacco would face his former team, as both squads have already played their two regular-season matchups at this point.
Flacco attended his first-ever workout right before Week 11 (Friday, Nov. 17) when the Browns hosted him to check on his status before signing the veteran. Flacco signed a deal the next Monday, becoming the fourth quarterback rostered by the Browns this season. He will be the fourth QB to start a regular-season game for the franchise in 2023.
The Denver Broncos and Jets appear on Flacco's resume along with the Ravens, as the quarterback moved on from Baltimore to have stints in Colorado and Broadway after winning the chip with the Ravens. This, however, is the first time Flacco has signed with a team mid-season, and also his first time as a member of a practice squad instead of a 53-man roster.
Throughout his career, Flacco has 42,320 passing yards, 232 touchdowns, and 147 interceptions in 183 career regular-season games. He appeared in five games last year (four starts) completing 110 passes for 1,051 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions. Good luck, Joe!