With quarterback being the most important position in the NFL, Labor Day Monday came with some clarity both for the Cleveland Browns and the NFL as a whole. The Browns set their quarterback depth chart with Deshaun Watson and Dorian Thompson-Robinson at the top after trading Josh Dobbs and releasing Kellen Mond.
While there was originally the belief that Mond would return to Cleveland’s practice squad, reports then trickled out that former Carolina Panthers starter PJ Walker would take that spot instead.
While that was reported in numerous places since early last week, Walker had not arrived in Berea nor had he officially signed to the Browns practice squad until Labor Day:
Today’s notable practice-squad additions:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 4, 2023
QB P.J. Walker, Browns
C Hroniss Grasu, Raiders
WR Robbie Chosen, Dolphins
WR N’Keal Harry, Vikings
TE Tommy Hudson, Saints
LB Nicholas Morrow, Eagles
T Tyre Phillips, Eagles
K Matthew Wright, 49ers
The team’s social media sent out a picture and video of Walker’s arrival as well:
Walker has played in 15 games including seven starts in his three seasons with the Panthers. His raw stats were not great (58% completion, 5 TDs, 11 INTs) but Carolina went 4-3 during his starts.
As fans and media try to understand the new emergency quarterback rules, Walker was assumed to take that role from the practice squad.
Clarity on that new rule tells us that it is not possible and impacts how we see NFL rosters. Overly simplified, the emergency quarterback cannot be a player elevated from the practice squad:
It is possible that the new clarity could be why the New Orleans Saints officially labeled Taysom Hill as a quarterback on their roster for the first time.
For Cleveland, Watson and DTR are the only two players currently able to play in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. It is possible that GM Andrew Berry chooses to make a roster move prior to Sunday that would put Walker on the 53-man roster. Until then, the emergency quarterback rule would not apply.
What do you think of Walker as the Browns third-stringer? Should Berry release/waive a player to get Walker on to the 53-man just in case?