Need to Know: Tyrod Taylor set for 1st game as Browns backup QB, handling new role like a 'pro'

It's been two weeks since Tyrod Taylor last suited up for the Browns after leaving a Week 3 win over the Jets with a concussion. 

In that time, Cleveland's former starting quarterback lost his job to rookie Baker Mayfield and had to deal with a back injury that sidelined him in this past weekend's loss to the Raiders.

Throughout it all, coach Hue Jackson says the captain and former starter has handled everything thrown at him "as a pro."

"I'm sure that he's still disappointed. He's practiced. He has led the scout team. He's had some work a little bit with the offense. He's ready to go," Jackson said Friday as the Browns prepared for Sunday's game against the Ravens.

"It's good to have him back. He has played a lot of football for us. I think that our players know the rhythm that he plays in, as I mentioned before. If he had to play, I think it would be OK. Obviously, we want Baker to go play the game, finish the game and play well. But, I feel good Tyrod being the backup."

Taylor, whom the Browns acquired in a trade with Buffalo this spring and named him the starter days later, completed 49 percent of his passes for 462 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in three starts. He was replaced by Mayfield, the No. 1 pick, two weeks ago after the youngster rallied the team to its first win since 2016.

— Jackson said linebacker James Burgess (knee) won't play this weekend while free safety Damarious Randall (heel) and linebacker Christian Kirksey (illness) are listed as questionable. Jackson expects Kirksey to play and praised Randall earlier this week for battling through a nagging injury the past two games. 

 — Earlier this week, Jackson expressed confidence in veteran cornerback E.J. Gaines, who's set to make his first start with the team in place of an injured Terrance Mitchell. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams feels the same, having coached Gaines back when they were paired together with the Rams for three seasons. 

"He just had to play more when Mitchell got hurt, but he was going to play quite a bit in the game anyways," Williams said of Gaines. "It does help, especially as we transition into this week and the plans. He's been around and he knows our verbiage and he knows what I want."

Gaines, who has 36 career starts under his belt, replaces Mitchell, who underwent surgery on a broken wrist earlier this week. 

— Joe Flacco quietly has been one of the league's more productive quarterbacks this season, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 1,252 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

"He's been playing the best football that he has played for a while. He's been sacked a couple of times, but he is putting the ball where it needs to be," defensive end Myles Garrett said. "He's been really patient. He's delivered some dots, but also has mixed it up a little bit. He'd not scared to get hit and deliver the ball."

— After struggling on special teams throughout the first month of the season, Jackson made it a point to help personally stabilize the unit this past week. He said the Browns have "done things different" and that he feels "better about it." 

"We just have to go do it on game day," Jackson continued. "We made a few adjustments here and there and we will see if those things pay off this weekend."

Special teams coordinator Amos Jones echoed a similar sentiment. "I think what we do in practice is work hard and we continue to stress that," he said. "I think the players responded to those types of things we told them to do. Focusing in on the little things like making a tackle, seeing the aiming points and things like that. 

"Obviously, fielding and catching procedures and focusing on not getting the penalty and how not to get the penalty things like that. The intensity mounts up each week as you go through the season, whether you are winning, losing or at the bottom or the top."

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