The Browns notched an important AFC North win on Sunday with their 13-10 victory over the Steelers. Now, they head into Week 12, where they will head out West to face the Broncos on Nov. 26 and then the Rams in Week 13 on Dec. 3.
As we head into Week 12, let's take a look at the news and some notes from Monday.
Browns sign QB Joe Flacco to the practice squad
Following the news of QB Deshaun Watson's season-ending injury, the Browns planned to bring in a third quarterback to their roster. Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry said following the injury that he believes in carrying three quarterbacks on their roster with the practice squad.
The Browns made that move on Monday, as they announced they signed QB Joe Flacco to the practice squad. Flacco is in his 16th NFL season, as has appeared in 183 games with 180 starts. He's played for the Ravens, Broncos and Jets. In his NFL career, Flacco has completed 3,881 of 6,299 career passes. Flacco also led the Ravens to a win in Super Bowl XLVII and was named the Super Bowl MVP. He most recently played started four games for the Jets in 2022.
"Joe's role is to support this team coming in here," Stefanski said. "We were able to add a guy with a ton of experience. He'll be great for that room. He'll be great for this team."
Stefanski said that Flacco's workout with the Browns went well and believed that Flacco has kept himself in good shape. Flacco has played in a number of systems, and Stefanski feels like that experience can bring value to their quarterback room.
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson to start Week 12 in Denver
Despite the Browns adding Flacco to the practice squad, Stefanski said on Monday that Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start against the Broncos in Week 12.
Thompson-Robinson started the second game of his NFL career in Week 11 and led the Browns to the 13-10 win over the Steelers with a steady final drive that set K Dustin Hopkins up for the game-winning field goal. While he struggled in moments throughout the game to connect with his pass catchers, he completed four consecutive passes on that final drive to move the Browns downfield.
"He operated the offense like he'd been there before," G Wyatt Teller said. "That's what that experience does. And obviously, I wish his first start was a little bit easier on him, but he showed up and played really hard and he prepared the right way. He was a professional."
Stefanski said that Thompson-Robinson played on time in Sunday's game. The week of practice and preparation leading up to Week 11 proved beneficial for Thompson-Robinson to lead their offense. He used the week to study and prepare himself to take the field on the first offensive drive.
Yet, with Flacco in the building, there's an opportunity for Thompson-Robinson to lean on Flacco's 16 years in the NFL. He can Thompson-Robinson with knowledge of the league with his veteran experience.
"I think that all the experience, the vet help is going to be exponential for him," Teller said. "I feel like that's the hardest thing."
LB Anthony Walker Jr.
Walker left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury in the first half. He was originally ruled as questionable for return, but then as the second half of the game began, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Stefanski said on Monday that Walker is week-to-week with the hamstring injury, and that they will work through the injury.
S Rodney McLeod
McLeod left the game with a biceps injury in the second half and was ruled out in the fourth quarter for the remainder of the game. Stefanski said on Monday that McLeod will undergo surgery for the biceps injury that will end his season.
"I think you guys know how I feel about Rodney," Stefanski said. "Leader for this football team has played really well for us. He's really a guy that I've gotten to know over this year. Coach Schwartz had a history with Rod and a bunch of guys knew Rod prior to this season, but just watching that guy work, watching him in the meeting room, on the practice field, during the games, just amazing teammate. So, I feel for him. He'll get fixed up and then he'll be back out here helping his teammates, but really feel for Rod in this situation."
K Dustin Hopkins consistency this season
Hopkins made another game-winning field goal on Sunday against the Steelers. The Browns marched down the field with less than a minute and a half left in the game. They set Hopkins up for a 34-yard field goal attempt with five seconds left on the clock. The ball sailed through the uprights and gave the Browns a 13-10 lead with two seconds left in the game.
Hopkins connected on two field goals in Sunday's game, including the game-winning field goal. He's made three game-winning field goals this season, including one in the last two games. Hopkins has converted 26 of 29 field goals this season, and his 26 made field goals are tied for the sixth most by a Brown in a season.
"Dustin is so trustworthy," Stefanski said. "He's so dependable. Not ever going to worry if he misses one or two. I mean, that's just. We got him for a reason. He comes through for us."