Reporting Daryl Ruiter
DETROIT (92.3 The Fan) - Despite winning the game, Friday night’s preseason opener at Detroit could not have gone much worse for the Cleveland Browns.
Already short handed, no less than 4 players made their way to the locker room during the first half at Ford Field.
Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was the first to go down of the first offensive play of the game. Massaquoi left with a head injury.
“He came off with the symptoms [of a concussion], and we followed league protocol,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “When he’s healthy enough to play, then we’ll put him back out there – and not before that.”
Massaquoi has battled concussions over the last 2 seasons and his reliability as well as personal safety is a concern.
The defense took a pair of hits when defensive tackle Scott Paxson sustained a right knee injury and cornerback Dimitri Patterson turned his right ankle.
“Just like any injury that happens you circle the wagons and put in the next guy and you go,” Shurmur said. “That’s part of the greatness of this game. When a spot [opens up] someone takes over and you go in and play. And then you might see something that you didn’t expect from a young player.”
The Browns hope the injury to Patterson isn’t serious, especially considering the potential suspension that Joe Haden faces.
Buster Skrine also struggled last night. He failed miserably keeping Calvin Johnson in check. Johnson shoved him off the line a couple of times – and nearly threw him 5 yards on one occasion.
Then tight end Jordan Cameron injured his back after making a nice 42 yard catch in the second quarter from Colt McCoy.
Shurmur tried to downplay the amount of injuries and the severity of them.
“All of these injuries I don’t know the extent of them until we get back,” Shurmur said. “They could all be back quickly and we’ll just have to see.”
The defensive line is already thin with Phil Taylor out for the first half of the season at best, Ahtyba Rubin is recovering from offseason surgery and Frostee Rucker sat out after missing practice this past week.
Not wanting to risk an injury, Shurmur sat linebacker D’Qwell Jackson as well Friday.
Rookies Billy Winn and John Hughes saw plenty of snaps in the first half as the Browns were gashed on the ground – again. The front 7 was unable to contain outside runs or stop the Lions up the middle as racked up 115 yards.
For the Browns to have any chance this season at improving upon last year’s 4-12 record, they must stay healthy.
1 game into the preseason, they are not off to a good start in that department.
QB Numbers: Here are the final numbers for all 4 Browns quarterbacks.
Brandon Weeden: 3/9, 62 yards (34 long), 1 fumble, 1 INT and a quarterback rating of 19.0
Colt McCoy: 6/8, 88 yards (42 long) and a quarterback rating of 110.4
Seneca Wallace: 7/13 for 86 yards (33 long), TD and a 100.2 QB rating
Thaddeus Lewis: 5/8, 90 yards (25 long) and a quarterback rating of 101.0
“I think all of the quarterbacks moved the ball,” Shurmur said. “The guys in the second half just scored more points.”
While numbers for Weeden were not good, he didn’t look overwhelmed and stepped up in the pocket a two occasions while under pressure – that’s something McCoy does not do.
Two Please: Nobody wants overtime in the preseason – not even the coaches.
That’s why Shurmur went for 2 after undrafted rookie free agent running back Adonis Thomas pulled the Browns within 17-16 with 6:05 to play on a 3-yard touchdown run.
“That’s why we went for 2,” Shurmur joked. “We were trying to win the football game. Late in the fourth quarter in these preseason games we want our guys to have a chance. We didn’t execute the play all that well.
“You guys [can] evaluate whether it was a good move or not. I think you will, probably.”
Thomas was stopped short on a run up the middle on the 2-point conversion but Shurmur admitted that the bland call for a run up the gut was by design.
“We didn’t run one of our primary 2-point plays because you really don’t want to show them in this situation,” Shurmur said. “So that wasn’t an A-lister.”
Missing Barge: The Browns’ trophy commemorating the winner of the Great Lakes Classic is missing according to a league source with no direct knowledge of it’s location.
The trophy is a replica of a freighter with a Lions and Browns helmet facing each other. Each team has their own trophy and adds a small engraved plaque to commemorate the year in which they won the game.
After winning 19-17 Friday, the Browns might want to find theirs so they can 2012 to it.
The Browns improved to 6-5 against the Lions in the GLC.
Inactives: SS Usama Young, RB Trent Richardson, FB Eddie Williams, LB Chris Gocong, DE Marcus Benard, DT Ahtyba Rubin, TE Ben Watson, DE Frostee Rucker and DT Phil Taylor
Up Next: The Browns will practice Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.