The quarterback situation for the Cleveland Browns has been a bit of a carousel ride starting in the preseason, but with Johnny Manziel done for the season after only two starts, the Browns have turned to previously unemployed Tyler Thigpen for the final game of the 2014 season.
The Browns began the season with Brian Hoyer as the starter, who performed well only to struggle in the second half of the season and was benched in favor of Manziel with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Manziel struggled mightily and wasn’t able to live up to the hype surrounding his arrival in the NFL, losing badly to the Bengals 30-0, completing 10 of 18 pass attempts for 80 yards, rushing for 13 yards and throwing two interceptions. Manziel was under center against the Carolina Panthers in Week 16 for his second career start and was unable to do much before exiting the game in the second quarter after injuring his hamstring. He completed 3 of 8 in passing for a measly 32 yards and rushed for 3 yards.
Brian Hoyer finished the game against the Panthers, but injured his right shoulder in the process. With both Hoyer and Manziel injured, the Browns could turn to rookie Connor Shaw to start against the Baltimore Ravens in the season finale. Shaw spent most of the 2014 season on Cleveland’s practice squad, which is likely why the Brown’s signed Thigpen, who spent the preseason on the Cleveland roster before being cut.
Before the Brown’s reached out to Thigpen, they attempted to sign former Bears, Texans, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman, who also spent time on Cleveland’s roster in the preseason. The former first round draft pick declined the offer, opting to spend the holidays with family instead.
With Thigpen, the Browns will get a quarterback who’s somewhat familiar with the offense but who has not made an appearance in a game since 2012 as a member of the Buffalo Bills and hasn’t started a game since 2010 with the Miami Dolphins.