Kessler will get reps with the first-team offense in practice this week, but the Jaguars will stick with Blake Bortles as their starter for Sunday's game against the Eagles in London, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Kessler failed to impress after replacing Bortles in the third quarter of Sunday's 20-7 loss to the Texans, completing 21 of 30 passes for 156 yards with a touchdown, an interception and four sacks. The Jaguars aren't quite ready to make a change, but there's real risk of another in-game substitution if Bortles struggles during the London game. The team may also reassess the situation during a Week 9 bye.
Kessler completed 14 of 17 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason loss to the Saints. Kessler looked quite good in relief of starter Blake Bortles, and he is all but assured of serving as the Jaguars' No. 2 quarterback in 2018. Rookie sixth-round pick Tanner Lee remains the only other quarterback on the roster, which speaks volumes about the team's confidence in Bortles.
The Browns likely will try to trade Kessler, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The team traded for Tyrod Taylor, signed Drew Stanton and is expected to take a quarterback within the first four picks of the upcoming draft. There won't be room for Kessler or Kevin Hogan on the final roster unless one of the other signal callers is injured. A 2016 third-round pick, Kessler lost all eight of his starts as a rookie, despite completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 7.1 yards per attempt with only two interceptions. Of course, he threw for just six touchdowns, and the Browns averaged 15.8 points in his starts. Kessler only attempted 23 passes last season, splitting backup duties with Hogan throughout the year. A late-round pick is the most Cleveland can hope for.
Kessler will remain the Browns' No. 2 quarterback for Sunday's game against the Vikings after head coach Hue Jackson named DeShone Kizer the team's Week 8 starter Wednesday. Kessler made his first appearance of the season in Sunday's 12-9 overtime loss to the Titans, coming on in relief for Kizer in the third quarter and completing 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Though he was more productive during the contest than the struggling Kizer, who threw two more interceptions to bring his total to a league-high 13 on the season, Kessler's inability to engineer a touchdown drive likely prevented him from getting a look as the starter in Week 8. However, with Kizer's hold on the top gig on shaky ground after being replaced due to ineffectiveness midway through each of his last three starts, it wouldn't be surprising if Kessler was called upon again at some point Sunday. The Vikings defense is yielding just 283 yards per game for the season, good for the fourth-best mark in the NFL.
Kessler completed 10 of 19 passes for 121 yards with an interception during Sunday's 12-9 loss to the Titans. Kessler -- who was active for the first time in 2017 -- was called on to replace DeShone Kizer in the third quarter of Sunday's matchup. Kessler is Cleveland's third quarterback to throw a pass this season, as the struggling Kizer has already been benched twice. The second-year signal caller out of USC was able to move the offense more efficiently than Kizer, connecting with tight end David Njoku on two long completions, though he was unable to lead his offense to a touchdown and sailed a throw to the rookie tight end that was intercepted late in the game. It still remains to be seen who will be the Browns' quarterback versus the Vikings in Week 8, but knowing coach Hue Jackson's history with the position, don't be surprised if Kessler is under center going forward.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||64.2||753||3||2||8||0||44|