The AFC North saw further changes as the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced another shift in dynamics. Despite the Cleveland Browns initially holding control over their playoff prospects, they encountered another setback in losing a quarterback for the season, reducing their depth in the roster.

Cleveland’s rookie quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is now headed to the Injured Reserve due to a hip injury after starting three games and participating in eight this season. Although he won’t play for the rest of the year, the team has faced previous quarterback setbacks, having placed starter Deshaun Watson on IR due to a shoulder injury. Consequently, they’ve brought P.J. Walker onto the active roster to support Joe Flacco, who is now their starter for the remainder of 2023.

Despite the Browns holding the 5th seed in the AFC with a 10-5 record, the Steelers, sitting at 10-7 with back-to-back losses, have a chance to catch up. However, Pittsburgh’s primary focus is likely on surpassing the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts to secure the final wildcard spot.

Looking ahead, the Browns face a potential challenge next year, especially with Flacco’s intention to continue playing beyond this season. Additionally, with Watson carrying a substantial $63 million cap hit in 2024, Cleveland might have to consider parting ways with Flacco, regardless of how far he leads the team in the playoffs.

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