MONDAY, 12:12pm: The Browns have officially announced their signing of Davis. To make room on the roster, the club used its injured reserve slot with the designation to return on rookie cornerback Charles Gaines. The sixth-rounder will now miss at least the first eight weeks of the club’s season.
SUNDAY, 10:10pm: Earlier today, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN opined that he would not be surprised if the Browns put in a waiver claim for recently released quarterback Austin Davis, given their current trouble at the position (via Twitter).
Fowler looks pretty smart now, as Davis is flying to Cleveland tonight to have a physical with the Browns sometime tomorrow (via Twitter). He is expected to sign with the Browns, assuming the team has an open roster spot for him.
Josh McCown is set to start the opener, but backup Johnny Manziel has experienced soreness in his elbow that has left the team uncertain about his health for the beginning of the season.
The team also just cut both players battling for the third-string role, in Pat Devlin and Thad Lewis. This was viewed as a sign Manziel would be healthy in time for the opener, but bringing in Davis throws even more uncertainty into his arm health.
Former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who made the Browns as a wide receiver, could always be turned to in emergency situations if both McCown and Manziel become unavailable during a game.
Davis was the 29th ranked quarterback in 2014 according to Pro Football Focus, despite only throwing a pass in nine games last year. For the season he completed over 63% of his passes, with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions, amassing over 2,000 yards in the process. Respectable numbers for a little more than a half season with a weak Rams’ offense.
Davis could serve as the backup to McCown while Manziel gets healthy, and if he master’s the offensive scheme could definitely challange McCown for starting snaps. With two healthy quarterbacks, he would be a candidate to remain with the team on their practice squad is he isn’t claimed before passing through waivers.
The once undrafted Davis is in his third NFL season, after working his way up the roster for the Rams. His experience starting eight games makes him an ideal candidate for the depth chart, even if he is not active for games with a healthy Manziel.
He will have to pass his physical, and hope the team still has a roster spot open for him tomorrow.