In a season where almost everything has been surprising, the fact that Week 18 versus the Cincinnati Bengals has no meaning for the Cleveland Browns is far from the biggest shock. The Browns are locked into the fifth seed while the Bengals are eliminated from the playoffs before the game kicks off.
With nothing to play for, it was expected that Cleveland would rest as many starters as they could. With limited rosters, not many can sit out the game.
QB Joe Flacco was an interesting case as he has a bonus associated with playing and winning games.
HC Kevin Stefanski announced on Wednesday that QB Jeff Driskel, who just joined the team this weekend, would start at quarterback. QB PJ Walker, who started two games and played in six, will remain the backup.
Driskel started two games for the Houston Texans last year and had 11 starts for his career with a record of 1-9. For his career, Driskel has completed 59% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Stefanski would not name who would not be playing in Week 18 but it would make sense that players dealing with injuries would play as little as possible.
The Browns head coach also updated a couple of major injury situations:
Good news: Ogbo Okoronkwo (pectoral) will return to practice today. Also so will Elijah Moore, although Moore remains in the concussion protocol #Browns— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) January 3, 2024
Getting both Okoronkwo and Moore back for the playoffs would be a huge boost to the roster.