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Browns plan to start rookie Connor Shaw

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Cleveland's season -- and Baltimore's -- now comes down to Connor Shaw.

The Browns will start the rookie quarterback on Sunday against the Ravens, coach Mike Pettine announced. Cleveland agreed to a contract with the undrafted practice-squad arm out of South Carolina and will soon activate him, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

With veteran Brian Hoyer battling a shoulder injury (he's doubtful for Sunday) and Johnny Manziel shipped to injured reserve, Shaw was the last man standing for Cleveland beyond the recently signed Tyler Thigpen. Shaw looked sharp for moments during the preseason, but dealing with Baltimore's stingy defense is another story. Especially for a Browns offense that hasn't run the ball with much success down the stretch.

It's a major boost for the Ravens, who need a win along with a San Diego loss or tie against the Chiefs to earn a postseason berth. That scenario took a hit on Friday after the Chiefs ruled out starting quarterback Alex Smith with a lacerated spleen.

The Browns, meanwhile, have little to play for outside of reaching eight wins for the first time since 2007 and just the third time since 1994.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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