Case Keenum has secured his place as the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans.
Case Keenum is a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at Houston and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2012. In 2013, he signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent, but was cut during training camp. After being released from the Texans, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings on October 3, 2015.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — With the Denver Broncos’ pass rush closing in on him and no place to throw the ball, Cleveland Browns quarterback Case Keenum dropped back on fourth down inside the Denver 10-yard line.
As a result, Keenum bolted up the middle. With a linebacker from Denver in his path, Keenum faked left and dived right for a first down at the 1-yard line. Then, on the following play, he lofted a play-action touchdown ball to help the Browns beat the Broncos 17-14 on Thursday night.
The Browns didn’t simply hire Keenum to be a mentor for starting quarterback Baker Mayfield two offseasons ago. They brought him in with the expectation that he could step up in a pinch and save Cleveland’s season if necessary. Mayfield was out with a torn labrum and a tuberosity fracture in his left non-throwing shoulder, but Keenum came through on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said of Keenum, “He fought like he usually does.” “I was in charge of the operation. On fourth down, it was a massive play. Simply to create a play and get more yards. He did an excellent job of fighting.”
Following two straight defeats, Keenum stabilized the Browns with an effective play-action-based, short-throw-oriented assault. He completed 21 of 33 throws for 199 yards and the game-winning score, which came after his fourth-down convert.
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Keenum stated this week, “You don’t have to get ready if you remain ready, and I’ve been ready since I came here.”
For the time being, Keenum may have to remain ready.
Mayfield also revealed he had a fracture in his left shoulder, further complicating Cleveland’s quarterback predicament. Mayfield hopes to play in Cleveland’s next game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 31.
If Mayfield is unable to play, Keenum showed on Thursday that the Browns have a backup quarterback.
With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both nursing calf problems, D’Ernest Johnson, the third-string running back, made the most of his first career start. On the first drive, Johnson carried for 34 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run. Johnson went on to finish with 146 yards, his first career 100-yard game. Chubb might return as early as October 31. With Hunt gone for many weeks, Johnson has shown he can keep Cleveland’s potent rushing assault humming.
The Browns defense dominated for most of the game, allowing just 76 total yards to Denver in the first half. However, Cleveland’s defense had repeated chances in the second half to put Denver — and its poor offense — away. Instead, the Broncos were able to make the game exciting with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive. The Browns still have enough skill on defense to produce a top-tier unit. However, they have yet to pull it all together halfway through the season.
In two words, describe the game: Make the necessary adjustments. It wasn’t the most beautiful performance, but the Browns needed this win to keep their high preseason hopes alive.
- teddy bridgewater
- kyle lauletta
- kirk cousins