While all eyes in Chicago will be fixated on how Mitch Trubisky fares during his shot with the first-team offense, one rookie quarterback is on the verge of earning a starting job.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports Kizer will be named starter for the Browns’ Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10. Head coach Hue Jackson seems to have come away impressed with the rookie, telling reporters after Cleveland’s third preseason game he felt comfortable with Kizer under center while adding “He has the right feel for me and what I’m looking for.”
The Browns inserted Kizer into a starting role for their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, moving him ahead of Brock Osweiler on the depth chart. And while the numbers (6 of 18, 93 yards, 28.2 rating) weren’t pretty, Kizer apparently did enough to sway his head coach into making him the full-time starter.
Whenever it becomes official, Kizer will be the first rookie quarterback from his class to start – beating out first-rounders Deshaun Watson (Texans), Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs), and Trubisky in the process. Kizer will also become the 20th quarterback to start for the Browns since 2010, a most dubious distinction. Prior to the team’s selection of Kizer in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Browns selected nine quarterbacks since 1999. The combined record of the players the franchise has chosen is 50-131.
The Bears will play the Browns in their fourth (and final) preseason game, though it’s unlikely he would start that game because expected regular season starters generally sit that one out.