Browns sign USC’s Shaw, CCU’s Thigpen for finale

nfl-thigpenbrownsThe loss of “Johnny Football” has opened the door for a pair of quarterbacks with South Carolina ties to land a job in the NFL.

The Cleveland Browns, whose top two QBs are currently injured entering the final game of the season, signed former Coastal Carolina All-American Tyler Thigpen and ex-South Carolina Gamecock Connor Shaw. The Browns (7-8) finish their season at Baltimore on Sunday.

With Johnny Manziel’s rookie season is over and Brian Hoyer hampered by injuries, the Browns are preparing Shaw to be the starter after he served on the practice squad and went through training camp before being cut.

The Browns also signed Thigpen as an emergency backup but it could be an audition for him as other teams evaluate their quarterback situations in the offseason. He spent some time in training camp with the Browns before being released in favor of Rex Grossman, who turned down the Browns Wednesday. Thigpen, who was charged with DUI in Myrtle Beach last month, seized the opportunity after sitting out this season.

Manziel suffered a hamstring injury in Cleveland’s 17-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, and coach Mike Pettine said Monday that the injury would have sidelined the quarterback for several weeks if the Browns were still playing beyond this week. Hoyer replaced Manziel against Carolina but suffered a shoulder injury and will be evaluated throughout the week.

Photo courtesy of Cleveland Browns

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