BEREA — Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer chose not to be offended.
Yes, the Browns tried to replace him as the starter with Bengals backup AJ McCarron last week. But Kizer will remain the starter Sunday in Detroit against the Lions because the proper paperwork wasn’t filed in time to beat the trading deadline so the deal didn’t happen.
“It is part of this business,” he said Wednesday. “That has absolutely nothing to do with my development and where this team stands.
“It is just another way of letting me know that I need to step my game up, knowing that I have another opportunity this week to be the starting quarterback here. I look forward to going out and proving myself.”
Kizer is last in the league in passer rating (51.1), tied for last in interceptions (11), 32nd of 33 in completion percentage (52.1) and 31st in yards (1,144). He said he didn’t need an explanation from the front office or coaching staff as to why they tried to replace him.
“He is not here,” Kizer said of McCarron. “I’m the starting quarterback this week, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow, develop and become a better quarterback each time I step out on the field.”
The Browns were on the bye last week, and Kizer said he was busy spending time with his family to become too bothered by the trade attempt.
“It didn’t go through so it didn’t really affect me too much,” he said.
Did it motivate him?
“If you can be motivated any more,” he said. “I have 10,000 reasons to be motivated to go out and play better. Two being the two times I’ve been benched.
“I look forward to coming out here after a nice bye week and preparing myself to go out there and have my best game yet.”
Coach Hue Jackson said he had a brief discussion with Kizer about the situation and he’s fine.
“I am always very honest with our players. I don’t sugarcoat anything,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, the most important thing is nothing changed, so here we go.
“You go back and you play and you can’t worry about those things. You have a job to do and that is all you can control. You have to let everything else take care of itself.”
GLAD TO BE BACK
Receiver Corey Coleman is eager to return to game action Nov. 19 against the Jaguars. He’ll miss his seventh game Sunday on injured reserve after breaking a bone in his right hand for the second straight year.
“I’m excited. I haven’t been on the field in awhile,” he said.
Coleman returned to practice Monday and said the hand is 100 percent. He missed six games as a rookie last year with a similar injury.
“It is tough, but you can’t do anything about it,” he said. “Moving past it, and I’m just excited to get back on the field where I can help us try to get a win.”
LEADER OF THE PACK?
Coleman said he looks at himself as a leader, then wouldn’t talk about missing curfew in Houston last month and being sent home and fined.
“That’s in the past,” he said. “I could address it but I’m going to leave it. It’s just dead.”
Jackson said Coleman needs to be more consistent with his actions.
“He has paid his dues as far as (missing curfew) is concerned, but leaders have to do the right things at all times. I think he gets that,” Jackson said. “That is the message that has been relayed to him. You can’t do it sometimes. You have to do it all the time.
“I think he was embarrassed that it happened. I think he has asked for forgiveness from his teammates, and I think we are moving on from it.”
Joe Thomas is off the recliner, back with the team and spent practice Wednesday coaching Spencer Drango, his replacement at left tackle. Thomas is out for the season after surgery Oct. 24 to repair a torn triceps tendon.
“Coach Thomas has a lot of experience, doesn’t he?” Jackson said. “It is a lot of fun having him out there. Joe, as I keep telling you guys, is a huge part of what we do in not just we wish he was out there for us, but he is a mentor to a lot of these guys in a lot of different ways. Having him out there and having him be involved is huge.”
Thomas played 10,363 straight snaps to open his career before the injury Oct. 22 against the Titans.
“I think he misses it,” Jackson said. “Joe Thomas is a football player. This is all he has ever known. I think it is hard to let that go. He is invited to anything we have. He knows that. He can run the meeting if he wants.”
Jackson said he asked Thomas to travel with the team to road games and thinks he will.
“Because this is still his team,” he said. “Having him around and having him want to be a part of that is very important to me, to our players, to our staff and to all involved.”
The Browns claimed linebacker Josh Keyes (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) off waivers from the Chargers and waived linebacker Deon King. Keyes has five tackles and five special teams tackles in 14 games over three years.
** Cornerback Darius Hillary was promoted from the practice squad, taking the roster spot of cornerback Reggie Porter, who was placed on injured reserve. Porter tore his Achilles tendon Monday in practice.
Hillary (5-10, 183) hasn’t played in an NFL game after being undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2016.
** Offensive lineman Korren Kirven, an undrafted rookie out of Alabama, was signed to the practice squad. He replaced offensive lineman Zach Sterup, who was signed by the Dolphins to their active roster.
Safety Ibraheim Campbell pulled a hamstring in practice and his status for Sunday is uncertain. Jackson was optimistic the rest of the roster would be healthy and active to face the Lions.
Cornerback Jason McCourty (ankle) and free safety Jabrill Peppers (toe) were limited in practice after missing the last two games. Defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun (hamstring), defensive tackles Trevon Coley (neck) and Larry Ogunjobi (groin) and receiver Kenny Britt (knee) were also limited.
** For the Lions, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (back) and backup rookie linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (ankle) didn’t practice.