Does the possibility of Pryor joining the quarterback group increase?
Coach Mike Pettine no doubt will address this question when he next meets the media Monday in Rochester, but I say no. At least not in the short term.
Saturday, Pryor flatly stated: I play receiver.
He added in the next breath he'd do whatever was asked of him to help the team.
Pryor seems to want to continue to focus on the switch to receiver, the one that prompted the Browns to sign him in the first place. He spent a month before camp with Randy Moss getting ready to play receiver and learning the nuances of the position. He's spent all his time since camp started as a receiver.
The Browns also have been adamant that Pryor had to make the team as a receiver before they would even consider using him in other roles. They did practice a play in camp in which Pryor threw a pass off an end-around, but he's spent every minute with the receiving group.
Pryor has missed a week with a hamstring strain, so he already needs to catch up. Moving him to take quarterback reps would only increase his challenge.
Granted, quarterbacks are not easy to find this time of year. It's not likely the Browns would find a quarterback to replace Shaw. The more likely occurrence is they find a developmental player for the practice squad. Pryor knows the offense better than someone who would come in off the street, but he's hardly proficient in the scheme as a quarterback.
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was Pryor's quarterback coach in Oakland. It would stand to reason that Pryor would already be at quarterback if the Browns believed he was suited for the spot.
Thad Lewis has been with the team since the offseason, and though he threw an interception in both the scrimmage and the first preseason game, he has started and won games in Buffalo.
Losing Shaw is a blow to the Browns depth at a fragile position, so it matters. Shaw had improved as a passer this camp, and was looking better every day. The onus goes to Lewis and Johnny Manziel to ensure they are ready since they will be one play away behind Josh McCown.
As for Pryor, I'd bet he stays at receiver. However, if another unforeseen injury crops up, Pryor could suddenly find his role changing.