Browns to start rookie QB Kessler in place of injured McCown

Updated: 

The Cleveland Browns will start rookie quarterback Cody Kessler in place of injured veteran Josh McCown against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

"Cody Kessler will be out there playing," coach Hue Jackson told reporters on Monday. "He's the next guy up.''

As of Sunday, the Browns will have started five different quarterbacks in five games dating back to last season. Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis started the final two games of 2015.

Cleveland will become the first team to start three different quarterbacks in the first three games of a season since the Kansas City Chiefs did so in 2008.

Robert Griffin III sustained a shoulder injury in a 29-10 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and was promptly placed on injured reserve after tests revealed a fractured coracoid bone in his left shoulder that could keep him sidelined up to 12 weeks.

McCown suffered a left shoulder injury in a 25-20 home-opening defeat to the rival Baltimore Ravens, who mounted a huge comeback after the Browns put up 20 points in the first quarter.

Although he was briefly taken to the locker room, McCown refused to come out of the game and did not miss a single offensive snap. His status is listed as day-to-day after undergoing an MRI on Monday.

Kessler, a third-round selection out of USC, said he has been prepared to make his debut and is ready to see his first NFL action, especially after being inspired by McCown's competitive drive.

"It's a physical game and you always have to be ready,'' Kessler said. "For me it's been just the process, getting the process down and continue to grow each week, continue to learn. 

"Last week I got more reps and I felt more comfortable getting to go in with the offense, instead of doing the scout team the whole time. It's the mentality you have to have. I have to continue to prepare as the starter, and I told you guys that from day one.''