BEREA, Ohio – Kevin Hogan will be the new starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns when they play the Houston Texans on Sunday, coach Hue Jackson announced Wednesday.
“I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week,” Jackson said in a statement. “We’ve liked what Kevin has been able to do within our offense when he’s been in there and he will start on Sunday because that’s what we feel is best for our team at this point in time.”
Hogan, who will be making the first start of his career, replaces rookie DeShone Kizer, who was benched after halftime of Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Jets.
The offense has struggled under Kizer, who is last in the NFL in Total QBR and first in interceptions. In the last five-plus quarters when he played, the Browns were held scoreless.
“This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward,” Jackson said in the statement. “He has worked extremely hard and still very much has a bright future. Right now, it’s better for him and his development to back up Kevin.”
Jackson had gone to Kizer as his starter when the season began, saying he would stick with the rookie through all growing pains.
Jackson changed that position Monday, though, saying he would “ride through the ups and downs until I determine that the ups and downs are too much,” and that he had stuck with Kizer through plenty of growing pains.
Hogan now gets his chance as the 28th different quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. He spent the offseason as the fourth quarterback in a three-player competition for the starting job. He did not play in the first preseason game, but eventually earned the backup role ahead of Brock Osweiler (released) and Cody Kessler (No. 3).
Against the Jets, Hogan completed 16-of-19 and led the Browns to two touchdowns. This season he is 26-of-38 for 377 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. His rating is 104.8, and the offense has scored 31 points in about three quarters of play as a backup. He also has rushed five times for 35 yards.
The Browns hope the time on the sidelines will help Kizer regenerate himself. His numbers: 81-of-159 (50.9 percent), three touchdowns, nine interceptions and 12 sacks.
Hogan was a fifth round pick of the Chiefs a year ago out of Stanford. The Browns signed him to the practice squad when the Chiefs released him after 2016 preseason, then promoted him to the active roster in October.
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