“Are you a functioning human being, with two arms and the ability to throw objects farther than ten yards? Are you a fan of Ohio in the fall? Are you able to play sports without a crippling reliance on Jaegermeister? If you answered yes to all three questions, do we have a job for you!”
Don’t be surprised if you start seeing want ads like this circling through Cleveland this week. You see, this is the kind of thing which is necessary when you have a season like the one the Cleveland Browns are currently enduring. The team comes staggering out of the brutal Week 5 destruction at the hands of the New England Patriots with – you guessed it – another injured quarterback.
This time, the lucky player is none other than rookie Cody Kessler. Already setting a record this year for actually being able to start two consecutive games, Kessler was knocked out of today’s contest with a rib injury, leaving Cleveland in the hands of “I was still available for a reason” Charlie Whitehurst. Those who could still stomach watching from that point on were lucky to see him get hurt, too.
Seriously, though, this is insanity. Even for the Browns. A team which cycles through quarterbacks at a higher rate than any other in the league is now potentially heading into Week 6 starting its fifth QB of the year.
What’s astounding is that Cleveland fans and media pundits headed into this season with some of the lowest expectations we’ve seen for this team in years. Somehow, the Browns are still able to fall miles short, all thanks to the calamity at quarterback.
The initial plan was simple – rejuvenate the career of Robert Griffin III, somehow finding the elite athlete who vanished after winning the 2012 Rookie of the Year. Said plan lasted all of four quarters, as a broken bone in his shoulder put his season on hold.
No worries, though, Cleveland had a reliable vet in Josh McCown. He could at the very least guide the team through the year, helping the roster full of young players develop and maybe make the team look respectable while he was at it.
Nope. Broken collarbone.
Fine, the Browns drafted Kessler for the reason, right? Might as well see what they have in him to confirm whether or not they need to take a quarterback with what’s assuredly looking like the No. 1 overall pick next spring.
Nope. He’s broken, too.
Well at least Whitehurst can – nope he’s hurt, as well.
That this all took place within the span of five weeks is astounding. What’s happening in Cleveland right now is an outright clown-show. At this rate, we’re at least a month away from the team literally holding open tryouts for fans just minutes before kickoff.
Making things worse is a now terrifying question facing the Browns – where do they go from here?
Apparently McCown is getting his collarbone reevaluated this week, but just how long can he survive if he’s healthy enough to play? Whitehurst reportedly could be OK, but does watching him another week really inspire anyone to tune in?
Even more concerning is the fact Cleveland’s offensive line clearly has made an impact here. Sure, letting guys like Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz go this past offseason may have made sense from an analytics standpoint. However, it’s left the line depleted to the point playing quarterback behind it is life-threatening. It’s difficult to believe whoever does end up playing Sunday is going to make it very far considering what we’ve seen to this point.
We all braced for a rough year, there’s no denying that. But, my goodness, did anyone expect this? Five quarterbacks in five games? This is a calamity nobody could’ve predicted.
Unfortunately, the end of this year is still months away. Sorry, Browns fans, you’ve got eleven more games to endure, and I honestly don’t know how you should go about coping with this. At least you can count on a newfound element of mystery when it comes to just who exactly will be playing every Sunday.
Other than that, I guess we should maybe start prepping for the Kevin Hogan era?