Joe Flacco spent much of his career torturing the Browns.
He joined them Monday to try to help them get to the playoffs.
Flacco, the 38-year-old quarterback, signed to the practice squad, the team announced. The expectation is he’ll be signed to the active roster at some point.
Coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t commit to a role for Flacco on Sunday in Denver and said he’ll meet extra with the coaches to get up to speed.
Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson got his first victory Sunday in his second start, 13-10 over the Steelers. He completed four straight passes to start the winning field goal drive in the final 78 seconds.
He’ll remain the starter, but Flacco could replace P.J. Walker as the backup after he gets acclimated and serve as insurance if Thompson-Robinson were to falter. Flacco worked out for the Browns on Friday in Berea, and Stefanski said he looked good and had kept himself in shape.
The Browns are 7-3, a half-game back of the first-place Ravens (8-3) in the AFC North and holding a wild card spot.
The Browns need a third quarterback after starter Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending shoulder injury Nov. 12 in a win in Baltimore. He’s expected to have surgery this week in Los Angeles to repair a broken bone.
Flacco has started 180 regular-season games, winning 99, and is 10-5 in the postseason. He’s 18-3 against the Browns, including 17-3 during his 11 seasons with the Ravens.
He was drafted by the Ravens No. 18 in 2008 and was Super Bowl MVP when Baltimore won the championship after the 2012 season. He’s completed 61.6 percent for 42,320 yards, 232 touchdowns, 147 interceptions and an 84.0 passer rating.
He hasn’t been on a team this season after spending the previous three as a backup with the Jets. He went 1-8 as a starter, with the victory coming against the Browns last year.
The Browns seemed poised for their first 2-0 start since 1993 but blew a 13-point lead to the Jets in the last 1:55. They fell 31-30 when Flacco threw 66- and 15-yard touchdown passes in the last 82 seconds.
Receiver Elijah Moore spent the previous two years as teammates with Flacco on the Jets.
“I feel like Joe’s a leader,” he said Friday. “I feel like he has a lot of experience. He knows football, and how could you not want to lean on somebody who knows football? He played the game for a long time at a very, very high level, the highest level. MVP level. So major respect to him.”
Moore believes Flacco will be a good mentor for Thompson-Robinson.
“That’s the main thing,” Moore said. “That’s probably the main focus of why he would come as well.”
First appeared on www.brownszone.com