June 16, 2024

The Cleveland Browns have nothing to play for in Week 18 after the team locked up the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff bracket, but they still have to field a starting roster for a Week 18 clash with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Most of Cleveland’s starters won’t be active for the game, including quarterback Joe Flacco, and the team will opt to rest most of their injured players to give them an extra week to heal.

Former Ravens QB Joe Flacco Had Other Offers Before Joining Browns - Sports  Illustrated Baltimore Ravens News, Analysis and More

With that in mind, the Browns elevated two players from the practice squad: safety Vincent Gray and kicker Riley Patterson.

Gray will likely take the roster spot of the injured Juan Thornhill, who will miss Week 18 with a calf injury.

Patterson, meanwhile, will be the Browns’ starting kicker for the second consecutive week while Cleveland gives Dustin Hopkins another week off to heal his injured hamstring.

Patterson converted four of his five extra point attempts against the New York Jets this past week and hit a 33-yard field goal in the 37-20 win that sealed the No. 5 seed for Cleveland.

There isn’t much else on the line for the Browns in Week 18 except pride, personnel evaluation and, perhaps, beating a divisional rival.

Jeff Driskel: What the Lions are getting in their new backup QB

The Browns are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now having won four consecutive games and seven of their past nine.

Cleveland has done all this with four different quarterbacks, and will start a fifth on Sunday in backup Jeff Driskel.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski is also considered to be an NFL Coach of the Year candidate this year for his efforts with the Browns.

Cleveland will face the AFC South winner in the wildcard round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *