COMMENTARY | Stop me if you've heard this one before - the Cleveland Browns are in need of a quarterback.
Browns starter Jason Campbell was knocked out of Cleveland's 27-11 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12 with a concussion, marking the third time this season that the Browns have lost a quarterback to injury. While it's too soon to say that Campbell will be out for a long period of time, I'd be surprised if he is in the starting lineup when the Browns take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 1.
Needless to say, the likely loss of Campbell will force the Browns to pick up another quarterback this week, something that should've been done weeks ago when Brandon Weeden was benched after a string of awful games. Weeden once again struggled after taking over for Campbell, throwing a pick-six in the fourth quarter that sealed the win for Pittsburgh. He's just not a good fit for the Browns, and the Cleveland crowd let him know it against the Steelers.
With the trade deadline having passed over a month ago, there aren't many options available for the Browns at quarterback. The pool of available signal-callers is rough at best, but when compared to Weeden, actually doesn't look too terrible. David Carr, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young are three of the names that come to mind as far as unemployed quarterbacks go, but like Weeden, success in the NFL has been hard to come by for that trio.
There is one guy that has had success as a starting quarterback in the NFL, but is currently out of work - Tim Tebow. Last seen with the New England Patriots during the preseason, Tebow has a 9-7 career record as a starter, with a playoff win under his belt. That lone victory gives Tebow more playoff wins than the Browns as a team have had since returning to the NFL in 1999, and it's not like Tebow had a stellar supporting cast with the Denver Broncos in 2011.
Despite a 4-7 record that has the Browns back in their familiar spot in the AFC North basement, Cleveland is still remarkably just one game back in the chase for the second wild-card spot in the AFC. I'm not saying that Tebow would be able to carry this Cleveland team to a playoff berth, but the reality is that the Browns are a different team when anyone but Brandon Weeden is at quarterback. Brian Hoyer proved that earlier in the season, and Campbell, for the most part, did so as well.
If the plan for the Browns now is to look forward to 2014, then they by all means should start Weeden from here on out. I almost worry that the Browns could lose to the now-confident Jaguars in Week 13 if Weeden is running the show for Cleveland. But, if the Browns are planning on making one last charge for a spot in the postseason, a proven winner like Tebow would give the Browns more of a chance than Weeden ever could.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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