Still in search of that elusive first victory, the Cleveland Browns are also trying to settle on a quarterback to finish the season.
Coach Hue Jackson has time to reach a decision because the Browns are on their bye this week and won't practice again until Monday. Jackson will have four quarterbacks to choose from when preparation for the home game against the Bengals (Dec. 11) begins: Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and Robert Griffin III.
Griffin was cleared for contact on Tuesday. He has not played in a game since suffering a broken bone in his left shoulder in the season opener and is still listed as on injured reserve, designated to return.
The logical assumption is Griffin will get the start for the Browns (0-12), but Jackson says he is sincere when he says he hasn't decided. He wants to see Griffin practice and the latter began throwing in team drills last week, but he has not been in the thick of practice since the first week of September.
"He had not taken a lot of reps with the offense because we've had to get the quarterback who's playing in the game ready," Jackson said. "It's not like training camp. You prepare for a team. We just have to see how that is and get a feel for exactly where he is and then we'll kind of go from there."
The fact only four games remain and the Browns haven't settled on a quarterback perhaps sheds light on why they are 0-12.
Following Griffin's ill-fated debut with the Browns in the opener, McCown got the nod in the second game and Kessler started the next five. McCown received the call against the New York Jets on Oct. 30, Kessler started the next three and McCown was under center on Nov. 27 against the New York Giants.
Injuries dictated each quarterback change except the switch back to Kessler for the Nov. 6 game against the Dallas Cowboys. Kessler started that game after being cleared from the concussion protocol.
"Robert obviously was the starting quarterback," left tackle Joe Thomas. "He won the job going into the season and he didn't really get a whole heck of a lot of opportunities to prove what type of quarterback he can be in this system, so I think there are a lot of guys that are eager to see what he can do.
"He has a unique skillset with the way he can run and the type of athlete that he is, so it can make preparing for our offense more difficult when you have a quarterback that's a weapon to run the football.''
Picking a quarterback to start the final quarter of the season is a big-picture decision for Jackson. McCown is 37 and Kessler and Hogan are rookies.
Griffin, 26, signed a two-year contract in March to play for the Browns. Griffin will be auditioning for the 2017 starting job if he is made the starter following the bye, Jackson said.
"I'm always looking to see who is going to be on the team as we move forward every game we play," Jackson said. "We're still evaluating our team, too, as we go through it at this point where we are. So yeah, we're looking. If he plays quarterback, yeah, we're evaluating him to see if he can be the quarterback. "
The season opener with the Browns is the only one of the last 28 games in which Griffin played. He was inactive in 15 games with the Washington Redskins last year and did not play in the only game for which he dressed.