"I've made the decision to start Kevin this week," Hue 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. This does not change the way we feel about DeShone going forward. 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 replaced Kizer in the second half in Week 5, after the rookie struggled again. The offense functioned better with Hogan under center, scoring 14 points and gaining 244 total yards. With Kizer under center, Cleveland earned just 175 total yards and had two red-zone turnovers.
The move to Hogan helps Jackson in the short term as the Browns are seeking their first win following another 0-5 start. Hogan, an athletic dual-threat, has a career 62.5 completion percentage in seven relief appearances with three touchdown passes and four interceptions. Sunday will mark the second-year pro's first career start.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity," Hogan told reporters Wednesday. "I'm going to prepare my butt off this week for the guys around me and make sure they have confidence in me and trust me to lead them so that I'm feeling good going into Sunday."
The QB swap likely has more to do with letting Kizer hit the reset button than what Hogan brings to the table. The rookie has had more valleys than peaks, struggling to read defenses, slow in his decision-making, getting rattled under pressure and turning the ball over at an alarming rate. Entering the draft, many believed Kizer needed time to develop before hitting the field. The Browns will now take a step back and hope the mental reset allows Kizer to relax and learn from the sideline.
"I don't play this game to sit on the bench, so now it's about accepting this as a challenge and doing whatever I can to get back out there and once again be the best quarterback and the best version of myself I can be when I do get back out there," Kizer told reporters, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "If another opportunity comes up to me to step back out on that field, I have to be the best version of myself. Now, it is just going to take a little longer before I get back out there."
The search for No. 29 likely begins in earnest after the season.