The Cleveland Browns are going into this week’s game against the New England Patriots in a precarious situation at quarterback, because both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden are nursing concussions. The only other QB on the Browns 53-man roster is Alex Tanney, who has even less business starting on Sundays than Weeden. If Campbell and Weeden can’t go this week (Weeden isn’t expected to, but Campbell should be able to play), then the Browns would be in a very tough spot.
That’s why they have signed Caleb Hanie, because they need some sort of insurance in case Campbell and Weeden can’t play. While Campbell has been cleared for activity, he hasn’t been cleared for practice. If Campbell can’t practice by Thursday, then his status against the Patriots would be in serious doubt. While the Browns have a very slim chance of making the playoffs, they still aren’t mathematically eliminated and would obviously like to avoid getting embarrassed against the Patriots.
Hanie definitely isn’t an ideal starter, but he did work out for the Browns last week and was a capable backup for the Chicago Bears. You could do a whole lot worse when it comes to signing an emergency backup at QB, so Hanie should be serviceable if thrown into the fire. It’s hardly ideal since he probably doesn’t know the offense, but it’s better than starting Alex Tanney on Sunday.