It has been quite a preseason for Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
A fifth-round selection in this year’s NFL Draft who was expected to eventually work his way into the backup role behind Deshaun Watson, Thompson-Robinson decided that timetable would not work for him. After Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was seven-of-12 for 92 yards, Thompson-Robinson finished the preseason with a completion percentage of 69.8, 440 passing yards, a pair of touchdown passes and, perhaps most impressively and certainly very important, no interceptions.
Along the way, Thompson-Robinson convinced the Browns that he was ready now to take on the role of QB2, which led general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski comfortable enough to send Josh Dobbs, who entered training camp as the backup, to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.
Thompson-Robinson will have one more memory from his first NFL preseason, although it is not as nice as earning a promotion. Prior to Saturday’s game, the NFL handed Thompson-Robinson a $4,642 fine for his illegal blindside block in the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
The NFL fined #Browns rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson $4,642 for unnecessary roughness -- an illegal blindside block in last week’s preseason game.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 26, 2023
In case you need a refresher on the hit, here it is via The Comeback:
Did anyone have "quarterback gets penalized for an illegal blindside block" on their bingo card?— The Comeback (@thecomeback) August 18, 2023
Dorian Thompson-Robinson just couldn't help himself. pic.twitter.com/Akog2U21AE
While it was a questionable call and you have to like Thompson-Robinson’s feistiness, he also has to be aware that getting a penalty like that benefits no one, a fact that head coach Kevin Stefanski drove home after the game.
The NFL doubled down on that message today with the fine, so hopefully this will all just be an amusing footnote from Thompson-Robinson’s first preseason now that he has established himself as the team’s backup quarterback.