The Cleveland Browns aren’t ready to move on to their fourth starting quarterback in six games just yet. On Monday, coach Hue Jackson offered an update on the injury that knocked Cody Kessler out of Cleveland’s loss to the New England Patriots, saying the rookie signal-caller is day-to-day and “has a good chance” to play against this week against the Tennessee Titans.
Kessler gave way to veteran Charlie Whitehurst after injuries to his ribs and chest, and while he tells Mary Kay Cabot for Cleveland.com that he wanted to return, it was too painful. While the Brown head coach was optimistic about the likelihood of his quarterback being ready to play on Sunday, the 23-year-old didn’t come off quite as enthusiastic about the possibility.
“My goal is to come back as fast as possible and I’ll know more in the next couple of days,” he said. “Just see how it feels and stay on top of it and get treatment.”
Obviously, the Browns would like to get Kessler back as soon as possible, if for no other reason that the team has nothing to gain from Whitehurst playing. Their record is already 0-5, not that the playoffs were ever a serious goal for the organization here, but wins are pretty much an afterthought at this point. It’s about evaluating players, and there’s nothing new to see with Whitehurst, a career backup.
Kessler needs to show something that would give the franchise a reason to pass on a quarterback at the top of the draft again, seeing as they are almost certainly heading for the top pick; top-five at the very least. That’s not going to happen if Kessler can’t play, so while it might seem as if there’s nothing on the line for the Browns, there is.
That, and the Titans actually might present a winnable game for the Browns, which would be good for locker room morale. Then again, while the organization wants to be careful not to build a culture of losing, it’s a little late to worry about that aspect.
While Jackson sounded optimistic about Kessler’s recovery, we’ve heard that before this season. It sounded like Jimmy Garappolo would be able to play Week 4 for the Patriots. It sounded like Trevor Siemian might go this past Sunday for the Denver Broncos. Until Kessler actually suits up on Sunday, it’s all talk.