Browns third-string quarterback Connor Shaw suffered a thumb injury during Thursday’s preseason game against Washington and will require surgery, the club announced. Cleveland’s press release notes that Shaw is expected to miss “an extended period of time,” and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link) that Shaw’s recovery times is set at three months.
“I feel for Connor because he has worked extremely hard,” said head coach Mike Pettine. “He’s a competitor and has had a great offseason and a good camp so far. He is good for the quarterback room and it’s unfortunate that this injury won’t allow him to compete.”
Shaw, 23, started the final game of the 2014 season for the Browns, completing 14-of-28 attempts for 177 yards and one interception in a 20-10 loss to the Ravens. The South Carolina alum’s three-month recovery timetable means that he could return during the season, but Cleveland is unlikely to carry an injured third quarterback for that length of time. Additionally, the club probably doesn’t want to waste its injured reserve/designated to return slot on a reserve QB, so Shaw is likely to be placed on season-ending IR.
Shaw’s injury could open the door for Thad Lewis to make the Browns final roster as the third quarterback, according to Tony Grossi of ESPN.com, though if Cleveland opts to simply carry a reserve QB on its practice squad, Lewis would be out of luck, as he’s exhausted his practice squad eligibility. Furthermore, don’t expect former quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who’s converted to receiver, to attempt a switch back to QB, writes Pat McManamon of ESPN.com.