The Cleveland Browns found themselves without starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and backup quarterback Case Keenum on Monday night when they (finally) played the Las Vegas Raiders.

Assuming they wouldn’t be able to play, the Browns signed Nick Mullens from their practice squad earlier in the week. While they also signed some other quarterbacks as backup plans, it was going to be on Mullens’s shoulders to carry the offense, or what was left of it after positive COVID-19 tests decimated the roster.

Mullens, a 26-year-old quarterback out of Southern Miss, is in his fifth season in the NFL. He spent the first four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and started 16 games with them between 2018 and 2020. Over his career, he’s thrown for 4,714 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions coming into Monday.

Mullens actually ended up holding his own pretty well, all things considered. He finished the night going 20-of-30 for 147 yards and a touchdown. Not exactly world-beating stats but he did his part, at least.

And he almost pulled off the big win, but the Raiders got a 48-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson as time expired to come away with a 16-14 victory.

Still, Mullens impressed enough people that NFL folks on social media had some praise for him. At least, as much praise as they could muster for a third-string quarterback on the Browns.

Alas, it’s probably the last time we’ll see Mullens start this season, barring some kind of wild turn of events (though to be fair a wild turn of events is how he ended up here). But perhaps Nick has done enough to earn some a shot here or elsewhere next season so that the Nick Mullens train can keep chugging along.

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.