BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The impact from the loss of defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah can’t be overstated enough.
Ogbah was placed on injured reserve after breaking a bone in his right foot last week against Jacksonville and the loss of the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder has head coach Hue Jackson looking at the player he’s tied with for the team lead in sacks with – Myles Garrett – to take over.
“Go dominate the game. That is what he is here for,” Jackson said Friday. “Losing Emmanuel is a tough blow. At the same time, I think Myles is talented enough to go do what he needs to do. Everybody knows that so everybody is going to shooting to make sure he does not. His charge has to be you have to go find a way. The guy is playing extremely hard. He has played well.
“Obviously, we want more sacks. He wants more sacks, but he needs to go make more splash plays, and I think he will.”
Garrett didn’t disagree.
“He is right. I need to make my presence known,” Garrett said. “I need to have a play or a couple of plays each game where I change the course of the game.”
In addition to the 4 sacks, Ogbah was responsible for 21 pressures, 14 hurries, 3 quarterback hits and 17 run stops according to ProFootballFocus.com while Garrett has cooled off from his hot start. Garrett has 5 tackles for loss – bout none in the last 2 games – and 10 quarterback hits, with 4 coming in his last 3 games after registering 6 of them in his first 2.
“[I] Just haven’t been doing enough,” Garrett said. “I have been getting there but just not quick enough. The other guys have been making those big plays. I need to make some of my own and be disruptive, as well as making big plays like sacks and stats.”
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wasn’t too hard on Garrett Friday, pointing to the double- and triple-teams he’s been facing the last few weeks.
“It is not just him,” Williams said. “To the point of I understand where he was drafted and I understand what that means, but so does everybody else on how they decide to play the game against him.”
While Ogbah and Garrett both have 4 sacks this season, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has racked his up in just 5 games. Now he’ll try to increase those numbers without having his bookend on the field.
“It hurts because guys had to account for me and him so it would take off some of the chips,” Garrett said. “Sometimes they would have to go over there. Sometimes they would have to bring him back over there so we just have to keep them on their toes. I know Carl [Nassib] will step up and do a great job, and I just have to step up and be dominant.”
Ready To Go – Josh Gordon won’t need the extra week NFL commissioner Roger Goodell allotted him and the Browns before returning to game action. Gordon believes he’s ready to play next week at Los Angeles against the Chargers.
“It’s been awesome. It’s been a joy. It’s been fun. It’s been exciting,” Gordon, who praised the positive environment that has surrounded him since he returned, said. “I think I knocked that rust off prior to getting back to the building. I think I accomplished that. First day of practice, [I was] able to adjust pretty quickly.”
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by Goodell on Nov. 1 and as a result he could not only help save the Browns from the scorn of an 0-16 season but he could also save a few jobs in the process if he can help them win a few games down the stretch.
“I really hope they can get it done this week,” Gordon said. “I’ll be on the sideline rooting them on. If it doesn’t happen and it happens the week I’m in, that’s great. If it doesn’t, we’ll continue to fight every week until it’s over to get a win. I don’t think it matters the timing of the win, as long as we get wins.”
Always Next Year – For a second consecutive season, the Browns are the last team to win a game and the first to be eliminated from playoff contention.
Thursday’s Chargers win in Dallas officially eliminated them after entering week 11 with the slimmest of hopes, needing to win out and also have the results of 46 other games over the final 6 weeks of the season go their way.
“I know we’re a long way from the playoff picture but we can still mess some things up for some people,” safety Jabrill Peppers said.
It marks the 15th straight year the Browns will watch the playoffs from their couch in January.
Pro Bowl Punter – With the loss of Joe Thomas and Jamie Collins the prospects of the Browns having a Pro Bowler this year are bleak at best but special teams coordinator Chris Tabor believes the Browns have a Pro Bowler still active on their roster – punter Britton Colquitt
“I think quietly, he has had a great year – Pro Bowl,” Tabor said. “He has been up there most of the year in gross and has helped us with the net with his punt location and just the way that he can move the ball around. We have to have him continue to play at a high level. I say it, he is our best player on our punt team. We need to take advantage of that.”
Colquitt is ranked fifth in the NFL with a 48.9 gross punt average this season and his net average is 41.4, which ranks 10th. He’s had only 1 touchback while dropping 16 punts inside in the 20.
“This is a tough place to punt, and it is going to get tougher,” Tabor said. “I just think he has been a bright spot for us. I know that is a big term that I used the word Pro Bowl, but at the same time, I do think he is that caliber of player. I think he is a special player.”
Injury Report – OUT: WR Sammie Coates (knee/ankle); DOUBTFUL: S Derron Smith (knee); EXPECTED TO PLAY: S Jabrill Peppers (ankle), WR Kenny Britt (knee), RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), C JC Tretter (shoulder).