With nothing to gain by benching him, DeShone Kizer will stay in place as the Cleveland Browns starter in Week 16.
The Cleveland Browns are now 0-14 this season, and a winless campaign seems like a real possibility. After Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, head coach Hue Jackson left the door wide open to bench rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer for the final two games of the season.
Kizer got pulled from multiple games early in the season, somewhat inexplicably all things considered, and he was benched for a full game against the Houston Texans back in Week 6. But Kevin Hogan was a downgrade, if anything, for that game with three interceptions while averaging an absolutely feeble 3.8 yards per attempt.
A lack of better, or even equal, options has led to a longer leash for Kizer in recent weeks. He also leads the league with 19 interceptions, including a league-high six interceptions in the red zone to sabotage things when the Browns do move the ball. Overall, Kizer has accounted for 25 turnovers in his 13 games this season.
On Monday, Jackson reversed course by committing to Kizer as the starter for Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Chicago’s defense has not been a real problem this year, as they are in the top half of the league against the run, against the pass, in total defense and in points allowed. But after a pretty surprising 3-4 start this season, they’ve lost six of their last seven games to seal a third straight double-digit loss season under head coach John Fox.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t improve their playoff positioning with a win in Week 17 and they rest their key players, that would open the door for Cleveland to beat their backups. But that circumstance can’t be counted on, so if the Browns are going to win a game this year, Sunday against the Bears looks like the best chance.