CLEVELAND — Joe Flacco’s arrival hasn’t altered the Cleveland Browns’ plans at starting quarterback.

At least not for another week.

Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP and 15-year NFL veteran, signed with the Browns on Monday, giving them depth, experience and an insurance plan as a starter following Deshaun Watson’s season-ending shoulder surgery.

The 38-year-old Flacco, who went 18-3 in his career against the Browns while playing mostly with the Ravens, initially will be on the team’s practice squad, with the expectation he’ll soon be added to the active roster.

For now, though, the Browns (7-3) are staying with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who came through in the clutch on Sunday in a 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Monday, Coach Kevin Stefanski said Thompson-Robinson will start again this week at Denver while plans for Flacco are still being determined..


Flacco worked out for the Browns on Friday, but the team waited until Sunday night to finalize an agreement with him, perhaps to not put any more pressure on Thompson-Robinson.

PACKERS: The Green Bay Packers boosted their running back depth by welcoming back a couple of familiar players, as they signed Patrick Taylor off the New England Patriots’ practice squad and added James Robinson to their practice squad.

Taylor played 27 regular-season games for the Packers from 2021-23, including four this season. The 25-year-old Taylor had 44 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown over those three seasons.

Robinson, 25, had joined the Packers’ practice squad on Oct. 17, but was released about three weeks later.

STEELERS: So much for Myles Jack’s retirement.

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed the veteran inside linebacker to the practice squad three months after Jack stepped away from the game in the middle of training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles.


Pittsburgh (6-4) needs help at inside linebacker following season-ending injuries to Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander in recent weeks. Elandon Roberts played every defensive snap in a 13-10 loss to Cleveland on Sunday, with Mykal Walker — signed to the practice squad in late October before being promoted to the active roster last week — taking the majority of the snaps at the other inside linebacker spot.

The 28-year-old Jack spent the 2022 season with Pittsburgh after playing six seasons in Jacksonville.

BILLS: Safety Taylor Rapp has gone from being loaded into an ambulance with what appeared to be a frightening neck injury on Sunday to having a chance to play at Philadelphia this weekend.

Coach Sean McDermott provided the update in saying all medical tests have come back negative.

“He’s in a good spot and has a chance to play on Sunday,” McDermott said.

Rapp was hurt after he and defensive back Taron Johnson both struck New York Jets running back Breece Hall in the open field in the second quarter of Buffalo’s 32-6 win. Johnson went down immediately, and Rapp stumbled back about 10 yards before collapsing to his knees.


FALCONS: The Atlanta Falcons returned from their bye facing a must-win game against NFC South rival New Orleans.

Coach Arthur Smith says Desmond Ridder gives the Falcons their best chance to win on Sunday and for the remainder of the season.

As expected, Smith reinstated Ridder as the starter as the Falcons (4-6) try to end a three-game losing streak. Atlanta is only one game behind New Orleans (5-5), but even in the weak NFC South, another loss would be difficult to overcome.

The Falcons were 4-4 with Ridder as the starter, but the second-year quarterback was benched because of his inability to avoid turnovers and sacks. Taylor Heinicke started the last two games but suffered a hamstring injury in Atlanta’s 25-23 loss at Arizona on Nov. 12.

Heinicke was not available for Monday’s practice, but Smith said the decision to name Ridder as the starter was “absolutely” intended to last the remainder of the season and was not based on Heinicke’s health.

SEAHAWKS: Coach Pete Carroll says he believes quarterback Geno Smith will be able to recover from an arm injury in time for Thursday’s game against San Francisco.


Speaking on his weekly radio show on KIRO-AM, Carroll said Smith suffered a contusion to the tendon where the triceps meets the elbow in the 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Smith was injured in the second half on a hit from Aaron Donald.

Asked if Smith would be ready for the 49ers, Carroll said, “I would think so.”

“It’s a good sign that he’s functional, so that’s not the issue. It’s just how sore he is,” Carroll said.

JETS: Zach Wilson is out — again — and Tim Boyle is next up at quarterback for the New York Jets.

Boyle will start against the Miami Dolphins on Friday, replacing the struggling Wilson.

Coach Robert Saleh announced the decision to go with Boyle over Wilson, who took over as the starter when Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut with New York on Sept. 11.


“A different style of quarterback,” Saleh said. “So, really it’s just an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense.”

It will be the 29-year-old Boyle’s fourth NFL start and his first since 2021 with the Detroit Lions.

Saleh said veteran Trevor Siemian, currently on the practice squad, will serve as Boyle’s backup against the Dolphins, with Wilson the No. 3 quarterback.

49ERS: Safety Talanoa Hufanga will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said tests confirmed the original diagnosis and that there was no other extensive damage to the knee. Shanahan said Hufanga will be expected to recover before the start of next season.

BRONCOS: The NFL suspended safety Kareem Jackson four games without pay for repeated violations of the league’s playing rules intended to protect players.

Jackson’s latest banishment stemmed from his hit on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs on Sunday night in Jackson’s first game back from his first suspension for an illegal hit on Packers tight end Luke Musgrave on Oct. 22.

The 14th-year pro acknowledged upon his return from suspension last week that he couldn’t guarantee he’d keep from getting in the NFL’s crosshairs again for his overly aggressive play, and it didn’t take long for him to prove it.

On the game’s third snap, Jackson led with the crown of his helmet on a third-and-1 run by Dobbs, jarring the ball loose. No flag was thrown and nickel cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian jumped on the loose ball at the Vikings’ 30-yard line. Dobbs went straight to the medical tent but came right back out and didn’t miss any snaps.

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