Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Browns Place QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson On IR, Sign P.J. Walker

Joe Flacco comfortably sits atop the Browns’ quarterback depth chart, but a new backup will be in place for the foreseeable future. Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been placed on injured reserve, the team announced on Tuesday.

The fifth-round rookie is dealing with a hip injury, and it will shut him down for an extended stretch. The move guarantees at least a four-week absence for Thompson-Robinson, meaning he will not be available for the remainder of the regular season. In a corresponding move, P.J. Walker has been signed from the practice squad to the active roster.

The quarterback spot has been in flux for Cleveland, a team which has managed to win games with four different signal-callers. Thompson-Robinson has logged three starts and eight appearances with starter Deshaun Watson finding himself in and out of the lineup before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. The UCLA alum had been in place as Flacco’s backup during his impressive run at the helm, but the QB2 spot will now belong to Walker.

The latter has made a pair of starts in 2023, his first season with the Browns. Walker has made a total of six appearances, the most recent of which came in Week 12. The former XFLer has struggled when on the field, throwing five interceptions and just one touchdown. Those totals cost him an active roster spot to make way for the Flacco-Thompson-Robinson pairing, but he is now in position to close out the season as the team’s backup.

Flacco has been highly impressive since arriving with the Browns last month. As a result, he may be playing his way into a new Cleveland contract this offseason. The former Super Bowl MVP will be counted on through the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, but the latest injury-induced change to the quarterback depth chart will leave the Browns thin under center moving forward.

When speaking to the media on Tuesday, head coach Kevin Stefanski also announced that kicker Dustin Hopkins will miss Cleveland’s Thursday night contest against the Jets. Hopkins exited the Browns’ Week 16 win with a hamstring injury, and the team responded yesterday by signing Riley Patterson. Still in the running for the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Browns will have a new face at the kicker position while bringing back a familiar one to fill the QB2 role.

Browns Bump Joe Flacco To QB2; Dorian Thompson-Robinson Out For Week 13

DECEMBER 1: The Browns’ Flacco signing will lead to a start. Cleveland has ruled out Thompson-Robinson, who remains in concussion protocol. Stefanski confirmed Friday that Flacco will start against the Rams. This will be Flacco’s 181st career start; the Browns will be the fourth team to turn to the veteran as its first-stringer.

NOVEMBER 30: Hoping to play a 16th season, Joe Flacco expressed interest in another Jets contract after the team lost Aaron Rodgers. As the Jets balked and ended up only adding Trevor Siemian in the wake of Rodgers’ Achilles tear, Flacco remained a free agent until last week. He is now on team No. 5, signing with the Browns shortly after their Week 11 game.

Some early work may be ahead for the 38-year-old passer. Although the Browns turned to P.J. Walker — their primary Deshaun Watson replacement this season — after Dorian Thompson-Robinson‘s Week 12 concussion, they have been expected to move Flacco into the backup role. That has already taken place, with Kevin Stefanski indicating Flacco has moved past Walker and into the QB2 spot for the 7-4 team.

That promotion carries more significance presently. Thompson-Robinson, who has started the past two Browns games, remains in concussion protocol following the hit he took from Broncos outside linebacker Baron Browning. Flacco was inactive for that game, having arrived in Cleveland days earlier. The Browns have seen enough to demote Walker once again. While the Browns managed to go 2-1 with Walker as their primary QB this season, he has completed fewer than 49% of his passes and left Denver with a 1-to-5 TD-INT ratio.

Thompson-Robinson did not practice Thursday, and his window to return in time for Week 13 is narrowing. If he remains in concussion protocol for the Browns’ game against the Rams, Flacco would be in line to become Cleveland’s fourth starting QB this season and 37th (h/t’s Mary Kay Cabot) since the franchise rebooted in 1999. Flacco faced the Browns 21 times from 2008-22. The ex-Ravens mainstay’s most recent outing in Cleveland produced a come-from-behind Jets win — in a Week 2 game in which Flacco threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns.

Flacco has made 180 career starts. Best known for a Ravens run that lasted 12 years — during which he collected Super Bowl XLVII MVP honors — the 2008 first-rounder also made starts for the Broncos and Jets. Last season in New York, Flacco received the call to start the season in place of an injured Zach Wilson. The veteran ultimately made four starts, including Week 18. He finished the year with 1,051 yards, a 5-3 TD-INT ratio and a 57.1% completion rate — at just 5.5 yards per attempt.

This development marks yet another QB2 change for the Browns. The team re-signed Josh Dobbs to back up Watson but traded the veteran to the Cardinals, seeing enough progress from Thompson-Robinson in his first training camp. Cleveland then demoted Thompson-Robinson after a woeful first start, which came on short notice against a strong Ravens defense in Week 4, for Walker — a late-summer pickup following the Dobbs trade. The hierarchy now sits DTR-Flacco-Walker, with Thompson-Robinson having already resided in all three spots on Cleveland’s depth chart.

Browns Notes: Ward, Thompson-Robinson, Cooper, DL

The Browns suffered a loss in Denver today as they continued to deal with significant injuries on both sides of the ball. The team was without star cornerback Denzel Ward to start today’s game after the veteran failed to rally for a second straight week, but they’ll hope that his absence doesn’t extend too far past today.

Ward was able to tough it out last week for a divisional matchup against the Steelers after suffering a neck injury in the prior week’s win over Baltimore. Unfortunately, for Cleveland Ward’s ailments would pile up as he would sustain an unrelated shoulder injury against Pittsburgh. Despite suffering a second injury, Ward was able to finish the game last week.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of, the shoulder injury could potentially keep Ward out for a couple of weeks. The team doesn’t believe that it will require a stay on injured reserve, though, and hope that he’ll be able to make a comeback as soon as next week.

Here are a few other injury updates for the ailing Browns:

  • The hits to Cleveland’s quarterbacks room keep coming as new rookie starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson was forced to leave today’s game with a concussion, per ESPN’s Jake Trotter. The team had not yet activated recent quarterback signee Joe Flacco, so they were required to turn to P.J. Walker as Thompson-Robinson’s backup. Thompson-Robinson may be able to clear concussion protocols in time to start next week’s contest in Los Angeles, but the Browns may need to call up Flacco in order to serve as either a new backup or potentially even a starter if Thompson-Robinson can’t play.
  • Leading wide receiver Amari Cooper was also forced out of today’s loss after suffering a rib injury. Luckily, the X-rays on Cooper’s ribs returned negative, according to Trotter, but bruised ribs can be a nagging injury in football. Cooper’s status on the injury report will be something to watch in the coming week.
  • As if all the above wasn’t enough, the Browns saw two more injuries of note today, these to their defensive line. Firstly, and perhaps most troublingly, Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner Myles Garrett was seen with his left arm in a sling after today’s contest. Garrett reportedly “felt something pop in his shoulder” today, per Cabot, necessitating the sling. According to Trotter, he told reporters that he doesn’t know how significant the injury may be but that he “will get scans in LA.” The team also saw starting defensive tackle Jordan Elliott leave today’s game with an ankle injury. The Browns will hope that Elliott’s injury is a minor one and that they will be able to catch a break from the constant string of recent maladies.

Latest On Browns, QB Joe Flacco

The Browns’ search for a veteran quarterback in the wake of Deshaun Watson‘s season-ending absence resulted in Joe Flacco being added. The latter boasts substantially more experience in the NFL than Dorian Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker, the passers he is now competing with on the depth chart.

While Flacco was signed (to the team’s practice squad, at first) to offer a higher floor as a backup compared to Walker, the veteran will not be in uniform for Week 12. Mary Kay Cabot of notes Flacco will likely find himself second in the QB pecking order relatively soon, but it will again be a Thompson-Robinson-Walker tandem on Sunday. The Browns elected not to make Flacco a gameday elevation, confirming those short-term plans.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski quickly confirmed Thompson-Robinson would continue as the Browns’ starter in the wake of the Flacco signing (h/t ESPN’s Jake Trotter). The rookie has put up far from spectacular numbers in his two starts so far (55% completion percentage, zero touchdowns, four interceptions), but his play in preseason earned him the No. 2 role behind Watson and his familiarity with the offense obviously far outpaces that of Flacco. The latter was Cleveland’s top target for a midseason addition, though.

On that point, Tony Grossi of ESPN 850 reports the Browns were satisfied not only with Flacco’s arm strength but also his mobility. The former Super Bowl MVP was never known for being fleet of foot in his prime, so at the age of 38 expectations in that department will no doubt be tempered. Still, it is notable he managed to draw positive reviews from the team’s evaluation as a street free agent in his bid to continue what is now a 16-year career. It will be interesting to see how quickly Flacco manages to get a look as the backup.

Walker’s performances in that capacity (should he get the opportunity to play in the near future) will of course play a role in Cleveland’s decision at the QB spot. Given his inexperience and level of play so far, Thompson-Robinson also has far from a firm grip on the starter’s role at this point. For at least one more week, though, he will reside atop the depth chart while Flacco’s acclimation period and the changes it could bring about will be a storyline to watch for the Browns’ offense.

QB Joe Flacco Signs With Browns

In light of the season-ending injury to starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Browns have elected to add some veteran starting experience to their roster in the form of former Super Bowl MVP passer Joe Flacco. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, while Flacco is heading to Cleveland on a practice squad deal, it’s expected that he will get promoted to the active roster. The team has since announced the move.

The Browns know Flacco well. In what will now be a 16-year career, in which he’s seen time with the Ravens, Broncos, and Jets, Flacco has a career record of 18 wins and only three losses to the Browns. In the age-old debate of whether or not Flacco was ever an elite quarterback, over 21 contests, the Browns have perhaps seen the most elite football of the 38-year-old’s career.

The Browns’ newest transaction serves three-fold. First, according to Mary Kay Cabot of, Flacco is coming to Cleveland to serve as a backup to rookie fifth-round pick Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who earned his first career win over the Steelers today in his second start this season. Second, the grizzled veteran will be asked to stand as a mentor for Thompson-Robinson based on his myriad experience with three different teams and several more offensive coordinators over the years.

The third purpose Flacco serves could be the worst best-case scenario. During a season in which the Browns are looking to earn their first playoff berth since 2020, and their second since 2002, Flacco boasts one of the more legendary playoff records in NFL history. Despite all of his playoff experience coming in Baltimore from 2014 and earlier, Flacco has a 10-5 record in the postseason with a 25:10 touchdown to interception ratio and a Super Bowl ring. Granted, this potential benefit will only come to fruition with a worst best-case scenario in which the team is still able to make the playoffs but Thompson-Robinson either gets hurt or proves ineffective.

Flacco wasn’t the only veteran quarterback interested in the job, though, as another former Raven in Robert Griffin III recently lobbied for a tryout. While Griffin actually has experience in Cleveland, he hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2020 season. Despite Flacco not performing as a consistent starter since his first season in Denver in 2019, Flacco has managed to not only appear in a game every year since then, but he also has started in a game in each year since.

With the expectation that Flacco is coming to back up Thompson-Robinson, it opens the question of if the Browns have seen the end of the P.J. Walker-experiment. In three games of significant action this year, Walker has led the squad to two wins and a loss, but he’s been erratic with only one touchdown to five interceptions and two fumbles.

Regardless, the Browns will have three options in the quarterbacks room moving forward. Thompson-Robinson will get first dibs on the starting job, while Flacco and Walker will support from the bench. With one of the league’s best defenses, that may be just enough to get Cleveland to the postseason. And, perhaps, even more.

Browns To Start Dorian Thompson-Robinson In Week 11

While the Browns quickly pivoted to P.J. Walker during Deshaun Watson‘s first bout of shoulder trouble this season, they are now expected to move back to rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

With Watson needing season-ending shoulder surgery, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz reports the Browns are expected to turn back to Thompson-Robinson. Despite the UCLA product’s rough outing in Week 4 replacing Watson,’s Mary Kay Cabot indeed indicates the expected plan is for the rookie fifth-rounder to retake the reins against the Steelers. Kevin Stefanski has since confirmed the decision.

The Browns saw enough from Thompson-Robinson this summer they were comfortable trading Josh Dobbs to the Cardinals in a pick-swap deal that brought back a 2024 fifth-rounder. Cleveland’s 2023 fifth-round choice, however, struggled in his first NFL action. Thompson-Robinson completed 19 of 36 passes for 121 yards and three interceptions in a 28-3 loss to the Ravens. The Browns then benched the inexperienced passer for Walker, who had arrived as a practice squad QB just before the season.

To be fair, Thompson-Robinson did not have much notice of his first NFL start taking place. A weekend MRI led to Watson being ruled out, and that decision did not occur until just before gametime. This time around, Thompson-Robinson will receive extended practice work ahead of the Browns’ rematch with the Steelers.

Thompson-Robinson, who turned 24 on Tuesday, gained considerable seasoning in college. Thanks to the extra year of eligibility the NCAA provided athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Thompson-Robinson started in four seasons at UCLA. He also received extensive playing time as a freshman in 2018. Through the course of his five-year run in Los Angeles, Thompson-Robinson attempted 1,359 passes. En route to becoming this year’s 140th overall pick, DTR threw a career-high 27 touchdown passes and notched his first 3,000-yard passing season (3,169) while completing 69.6% of his throws last season.

The Browns also picked Thompson-Robinson for his rushing chops. He finished with 600-plus rushing yards in his final two Bruins seasons, totaling 645 and 12 TDs in 2022. Walker does not bring as much of a run-game element to the equation, and the Browns will see what the younger passer can provide in a pivotal rematch. The Steelers prevailed in Week 2, hounding Watson with a sustained pass rush. The 6-3 teams’ rematch will go a long way toward the respective clubs’ playoff standing.

Cleveland is 2-2 in the games Watson did not finish, with Walker piloting both wins. The three-year Panthers backup, however, has completed just 49% of his passes this season. Walker, 28, has made two starts and replaced Watson in Indianapolis. Together, Walker and Thompson-Robinson carry a 1-to-8 TD-INT ratio this season. Whomever the Browns end up calling on to start the bulk of their remaining games, they will face an uphill battle. Though, the team’s No. 1-ranked pass defense will provide a reasonable safety net even without Watson.

Browns Elevate QB P.J. Walker

Finally setting up what has been hinted at all week, the Browns announced this morning that they have officially promoted quarterback P.J. Walker from the practice squad as a standard gameday elevation. With starter Deshaun Watson still out with injury and rookie backup Dorian Thompson-Robinson struggling in a Week 4 start against the Ravens, Walker seems primed to start this Sunday under center for Cleveland.

Watson has been nursing a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the team’s fourth game of the season. He had technically been cleared to play in the divisional matchup but opted instead to rest and allow his shoulder to heal. While a timeline for Watson’s return is unclear to the public, the Browns and their 2022 trade acquisition appear to be on the same page. Time will tell when Watson gets back to the field, but for the time being, Cleveland will have to turn elsewhere for their quarterbacking needs.

Thompson-Robinson, the fifth-round rookie out of UCLA, may not be who they look to moving forward. In his lone NFL start, albeit against a stout Ravens defense, Thompson-Robinson struggled with three interceptions to zero touchdowns. After a bye week of rest and preparation, Cleveland may believe he has a better chance for success in Week 6, but it will likely have to be off the bench.

Instead, it’s become seemingly clear that the Browns will turn to Walker, the former XFL standout passer, until Watson can return. Walker started seven games for the Panthers over the last three years, going 4-3 in those starts. He struggled in his initial transition back to the NFL, throwing only two touchdowns to eight interceptions in his first two seasons back. Last year, though, in five starts, Walker showed improvement.

Walker is surely not a viable long-term option if the Browns are hoping to make a return to the playoffs. Until Watson is able to make his comeback, though, Cleveland will trust Walker’s experience and XFL success over Thompson-Robinson for now. Thompson-Robinson still showed a lot of promise in the preseason and earned a lot of faith from the coaches. He may just need a bit more time to develop his NFL game. For now, expect Walker under center.

Joining Walker as a standard gameday elevation from the practice squad will be Jaelon Darden. Darden has appeared in 23 games so far in his still young NFL career, only making eight catches for 69 yards. While he hasn’t been necessarily effective on offense, he’s averaged 9.4 yards per punt return and has experience returning kickoffs, as well.

Latest On Browns’ Quarterback Situation

OCTOBER 13: Watson is expected to miss a second game, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reports. After missing practice Wednesday and Thursday, Watson resting again is not especially surprising. But considering he was a late scratch for the Browns two weeks ago and had only missed one game due to injury between his 2017 ACL tear and this season, it is a notable development. Walker, who made eight Panthers starts from 2020-22, is set to take the reins against the 49ers. The Browns have since ruled Watson out.

OCTOBER 11: The Browns’ bye week did not move Deshaun Watson onto a smooth track toward resuming his season. The highly paid quarterback is not practicing Wednesday due to the shoulder injury that caused him to miss Week 4.

Watson is battling a rotator cuff contusion, Mary Kay Cabot of notes. Suffering the injury during a third-quarter scramble against the Titans, Watson opted to rest in Week 4 despite being cleared to play. The Browns and the 2022 trade acquisition are believed to be on the same page regarding a return timetable, but the situation is uncertain for the time being.

More certainty now exists at backup quarterback. After the Browns trotted out fifth-round rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson against the Ravens, Cabot offered that P.J. Walker might get the nod — in the event Watson is down for Week 6 — due to experience. The Browns concur, with Kevin Stefanski indicating Walker has leapfrogged Thompson-Robinson on the depth chart. If Watson is out against the 49ers, the ex-Panthers backup will be called upon to start.

Cleveland added Walker on a practice squad deal shortly after cutdown day. The Bears had released the former XFL 2.0 standout after their preseason slate wrapped. Walker, 28, has made seven NFL starts, going 4-3 in those games. Each of the starts came for Carolina, with Walker’s ex-college coach — Matt Rhule — adding to his contingent of Temple alums by re-signing the former Owls quarterback. Backing up Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in Charlotte, Walker is a career 57.5% passer who sports a 6.4-yard average per attempt.

The drop-off from Watson to Walker would obviously be steep, but Thompson-Robinson was not ready to make an NFL start. The Browns had elevated Walker from their practice squad ahead of Week 4, though they did not use him in that Ravens matchup. Thompson-Robinson averaged a ghastly 3.4 yards per pass in Cleveland’s 28-3 loss to Baltimore, throwing three interceptions. The Browns had viewed Thompson-Robinson as ready to back up Watson, with that being the reasoning behind August’s Joshua Dobbs trade. Dobbs has continually kept the Cardinals in games as a Kyler Murray fill-in, and although Andrew Berry defended the trade recently, the Browns would have certainly had a better chance to win in Week 4 with Dobbs at the helm.

Watson missed 17 games in 2021 as a healthy scratch amid his criminal investigation for alleged sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct, and the NFL suspended the ex-Texans franchise QB for 11 games last season. Watson had only missed one game due to injury, however, since his October 2017 ACL tear. That came in 2019. Unless he returns to the practice field soon, that number will expand to three. The 5-0 49ers would then have the opportunity to face a Walker-quarterbacked Browns team.

Browns GM Andrew Berry Addresses Josh Dobbs Trade

Week 4 marked the first regular season action for Browns quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, as the rookie saw the start in place of the injured Deshaun Watson. The former’s performance led to questions about Cleveland’s decision to trade away veteran passer Josh Dobbs, one the organization is satisfied with.

The Cardinals traded for Dobbs in late August, putting him in position to serve as their starting signal-caller until the return of Kyler Murray. While the move reunited Dobbs with offensive coordinator Drew Petzing (who previously served as the Browns’ QBs coach), Arizona’s offer came as a surprise to Cleveland. The sides were quickly able to work out a deal, though, leaving the latter team short on experience under center.

Thompson-Robinson went 19-of-36 for 121 scoreless yards in a Week 4 loss to the Ravens, throwing three interceptions and taking four sacks. The fifth-rounder’s struggles were understandable in his debut, but they notably contrasted with his encouraging performances in training camp and the preseason. They also stood out when compared to Dobbs, who has posted a 4:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 99.4 passer rating in Arizona.

“In terms of trading Josh, obviously we had a high opinion of Josh,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said of the trade, via’s Mary Kay Cabot“I’ve often talked up here about the general manager’s role having a foot in the present and a foot in the future. That consideration, in that transaction, has elements of that… We’re really excited to work with Dorian and see him progress and develop. But thought it was the right move for the organization, both short and long term.”

Indeed, many pointed to Thompson-Robinson as the Browns’ eventual QB2 despite Dobbs’ presence, so moving on from the more experienced option helped accelerate his move up the depth chart. Berry confirmed his confidence in Thompson-Robinson as the team’s long-term Watson understudy, adding that he discussed the proposed Dobbs trade with head coach Kevin Stefanski before authorizing it. While much of Cleveland’s success in 2023 and beyond will be tied to Watson’s level of play when healthy, the team remains comfortable with its backup options (which currently includes P.J. Walker) behind him.

Deshaun Watson Will Not Play In Week 4

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will not play in the team’s Week 4 game against the Ravens, as Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports. Watson is dealing with a right shoulder contusion, and while player and team hoped that he would be able to play through the injury, that will not be the case.

Watson struggled through the first two games of the 2023 season, but in Week 3, he looked like the Pro Bowler the Browns believed they were getting when they made the now-infamous decision to trade a king’s ransom for the embattled quarterback and hand him a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230MM contract in March 2022. In Cleveland’s 27-3 romp over the Titans last week, Watson completed 27 of 33 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

As James Palmer of the NFL Network notes, Watson did not throw much in practice this week as he attempted to rest his shoulder. During today’s pregame warmup and throwing session, it became clear that he was not healthy enough to suit up.

Fifth-round rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will get the nod in Watson’s absence, and he will be tasked with leading the team in an important divisional matchup. The Browns had initially planned to have Josh Dobbs serve as Watson’s backup this year, but when the QB-needy Cardinals made an “out-of-the-blue” trade offer for Dobbs at the end of August, Cleveland decided to pull the trigger on the trade and elevate Thompson-Robinson to the QB2 role.

Obviously, that decision indicated that the Browns were comfortable with Thompson-Robinson being called into action in his first professional season. Thompson-Robinson justified that faith with a strong preseason in which he completed 37 of 58 passes for two touchdowns and added 14 carries for 69 yards.

Although he did not always look like an NFL prospect during his collegiate career at UCLA, Thompson-Robinson put himself on the radar during his final season with the Bruins, completing just under 70% of his passes and throwing for 27 TDs against 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 645 yards and 12 touchdowns while maintaining a healthy 5.5 yards-per-carry rate.

DTR will at least have Cleveland’s top tight end at his disposal. After suffering burns to his face and arm during a household accident this week, David Njoku is expected to play against Baltimore.

The Browns have a Week 5 bye, and given that they were optimistic Watson would play this week, it seems reasonable to expect Watson to take the field against the 49ers in Week 6. However, it is obviously too early for the team to make that call.