Kessler made three appearances in 2017 and completed 11 of 23 passes for 121 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Though he showed flashes of competency behind center during the 2016 season, Kessler began this year as Cleveland's third-string quarterback behind DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan. His only extended period of playing came on Oct. 22 against the Titans after Kizer was benched to start the second half. The Browns are expected to add yet another quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, and that could mean the end of Kessler's time in Cleveland. The 24-year-old improved his arm strength over the offseason last year, and even if he's cut loose by the Browns, another team might be willing to take a flier on the former USC product.
Kessler was on the field for seven plays in replace of DeShone Kizer (ribs) and completed 1 of 3 passes for five yards during Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Lions.
When Kizer left the game with a rib injury, Kessler was called on to replace the rookie, though the former USC quarterback ultimately failed to move the ball as well as his teammate. He was sacked three times during his seven plays of action while completing just one pass. Kizer is confident he'll be able to suit up Sunday against Jacksonville, meaning Kessler will once again be destined for backup duties.
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.
Kessler replaced DeShone Kizer at quarterback in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Titans, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
After a one-game benching, Kizer was reinstated as the starting quarterback this week when Kevin Hogan failed to ignite the offense in the Week 6 loss to the Texans. Despite the vote of confidence from the coaching staff, Kizer's season-long struggles continued prior to his departure Sunday, with the rookie completing 12 of 20 passes for 114 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions while leading the Browns to just three first-half points. It appears Kessler, who hadn't appeared in any of the Browns' first six games of the season, will now get a chance to stake a claim to the starting role with a strong finish to Sunday's game.
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