Case Keenum -- in for Baker Mayfield -- helps Browns end skid, stay in playoff race - Cleveland Browns Blog

CLEVELAND — On 4th down inside the Denver 10-yard line, Cleveland Browns quarterback Case Keenum hung back with the Denver Broncos’ pass rush barreling down on him and no location to toss the ball.

So Keenum removed up the middle. And with a Denver linebacker standing in the method, Keenum fabricated left, then dove right for an initially down at the 1-yard line. Then, on the next play, he lofted a goal pass off play-action to assist move the Browns to a 17-14 triumph over the Broncos Thursday night.

Two offseasons back, the Browns didn’t simply sign Keenum to be a coach for beginning quarterback Baker Mayfield. They brought him in thinking he might come through in a pinch, to keep Cleveland’s season afloat if hired. With Mayfield out since of a torn labrum and tuberosity fracture in his left non-throwing shoulder, Keenum provided on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“He fought like he always does,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski stated of Keenum. “Orchestrated the operation. That was a huge play there on fourth down. Just to make a play, fighting for extra yardage. He did a great job fighting.”

Operating effectively out of a heavy play-action-based, short-throw-oriented attack, Keenum steadied the Browns following 2 successive losses. He finished 21-of-33 passes for 199 backyards and the goal, which followed the play of the video game — his fourth-down conversion.

“You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready,” Keenum stated today, “and I’ve been ready since I got here.”

Keenum might need to remain prepared for the time being.

Complicating Cleveland’s quarterback circumstance even more, Mayfield divulged he likewise has a fracture in his left shoulder. Mayfield is intending to return by Cleveland’s next video game on Oct. 31 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But if Mayfield is not able to go, Keenum showed Thursday that the Browns have another quarterback who can provide.

Buy on a breakout efficiency: With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both nursing calf injuries, third-string running back D’Ernest Johnson took advantage of his very first profession start. Johnson hurried for 34 backyards on the opening drive, consisting of a 4-yard goal run. Johnson went on to complete with 146 backyards — the very first 100-yard video game of his profession. Chubb might be back as quickly as Oct. 31. But with Hunt anticipated to be out numerous weeks, Johnson revealed he can keep Cleveland’s effective hurrying attack humming.

Troubling pattern: The Browns defense controlled for much of the video game, holding Denver to 76 overall backyards in the very first half. But in the 2nd half, Cleveland’s defense had numerous chances to put Denver — and its uninspired offense — away. Instead, the Broncos had the ability to craft a fourth-quarter goal drive to keep the video game intriguing. The Browns still boast the skill to field a top-tier defense. But midway through the season, they still have yet to put all of it together.

Describe the video game in 2 words: Get right. It wasn’t the most beautiful efficiency, however the Browns frantically required this triumph to keep their lofty preseason goals undamaged.

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