Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Browns to start rookie QB DeShone Kizer vs. Bucs

BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer will be next through the Browns' quarterback turnstile.

He doesn't want it to spin again soon.

The rocket-armed rookie quarterback from Notre Dame was named Cleveland's starter for Saturday's third exhibition game against the Bucs, and barring a flop or injury — remember, these are the Browns — Kizer will start the Sept. 10 season opener against the Steelers.

After watching Kizer develop over the past month and show poise while delivering long completions in two preseason appearances, coach Hue Jackson picked him over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler.

"I don't ever want to put something on someone too soon if they're not ready," Jackson said Wednesday. "But (Kizer has) demonstrated that he's ready, so let's give him a chance to see if he can do it."

Kizer is excited about the opportunity and intends to make the most of being Cleveland's 27th starting quarterback since 1999. "I've got to continue to show … the type of worker that I am and how much time I'm putting in off the field in my preparation," Kizer said.

Jackson hasn't officially named Kizer his Week 1 starter, but it would take a major flameout for him not to get the assignment. "In my mind, this young man is going to go play extremely well," Jackson said.

Kaepernick protest: A dozen groups rallied in front of NFL headquarters in New York to protest the continued unemployment of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and what speakers said is the league's lack of racial sensitivity. Kaepernick caused conflict last season by kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racial oppression. He is a free agent without a job.

"We believe that the NFL has been complicit in the ostracization of Colin Kaepernick," said protester Symone D. Sanders, the former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.

A small group of counter-protesters stood across the street, some holding signs in support of the police.

Also, the NAACP said it wants to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss Kaepernick's status.

More QB dramas

Bears: Rookie Mitch Trubisky practiced with the first-string offense for the first time, and coach John Fox said the draft's second overall pick will play with the starters to begin the second half of Sunday's third preseason game against the Titans. The Bears will play the first half with Mike Glennon starting. Fox continued to stress that Glennon, who left the Bucs to sign as a free agent in the offseason, is the opening-day starter and said that "right now" Mark Sanchez is the backup.

Jaguars: Chad Henne will start tonight's preseason game against the Panthers, a change that could signal the end of Blake Bortles' career with the team. Coach Doug Marrone made the announcement nearly a week after he created a quarterback competition. He said both quarterbacks will get time with the first-team offense.

In other news …

Raiders: Pro Bowl tackle Donald Penn ended his 26-day holdout and practiced. The former Buc wants a better contract. GM Reggie McKenzie has said he would not negotiate until Penn arrived at camp.

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