Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson announced that quarterback Kevin Hogan will start against the Houston Texans on Sunday in place of struggling rookie DeShone Kizer.
“I’ve made the decision to start Kevin this week,” Jackson said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”
Sunday will mark the first career NFL start for Hogan, a second-year player out of Stanford who opened training camp battling for a roster spot behind Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kizer.
Kizer was benched during the second half of last Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New York Jets. He is last in the NFL in Total QBR (18.4) and has thrown nine interceptions. The Browns have not scored in the past five quarters with Kizer at quarterback.
The Browns traded the No. 12 overall pick in April to the Texans, who selected Deshaun Watson. Watson will start against Cleveland on Sunday, with Kizer – selected in the second round – watching from the sideline.
“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.”
Hogan, 24, has appeared in three games this season, posting a 73.7 QBR and 104.8 passer rating while completing 26 of 38 passes (68.4) and throwing three touchdowns against a pair of interceptions. He has added 35 yards on five carries.
Hogan will be the 28th different starting quarterback for the Browns since the franchise returned to the league in 1999. He completed 16 of 19 passes while leading two touchdown drives against the Jets last week.
Hogan was a fifth-round pick by Kansas City in 2016, and was signed to the Browns’ practice after failing to make the Chiefs’ roster out of training camp as a rookie. He was promoted to the active roster last October.