Backups lead Browns past Broncos
Case Keenum stepped in for Baker Mayfield and made the most of his first start in two years, third-string back D’Ernest Johnson rushed for 146 yards and the busted-up Cleveland Browns beat the Denver Broncos 17-14 on Thursday night.
Keenum didn’t put up impressive stats (21 of 33 for 199 yards), but threw a touchdown pass and did enough — as did Cleveland’s maligned defense — to get the Browns (4-3) a much-needed victory.
They survived without Mayfield, who sat out with a shoulder injury and could miss more time.
Johnson, playing because stars Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were both out with calf injuries, had the best game of his career. He scored on a 4-yard run in the first half and picked 52 on seven carries as the Browns chewed up the final 5:17 after the Broncos pulled within three.
Denver QB Teddy Bridgewater threw two TD passes and gutted it out while playing with foot and quadriceps injuries.