The Cleveland Browns are getting back to full strength after a string of early injuries on the defense, most notably in the secondary.
However, one big name is not going to be on the field as the Browns take on the Patriots on Sunday as safety Damarious Randall will miss his third game of the season as he deals with a nagging hamstring injury out of the bye week.
Randall is solid in coverage and isn’t scared to join the fray, collecting 20 tackles, two sacks and three passes defended this season.
Unfortunately, he has not been on the field as much as he would like so far, especially in a contract year. Earlier this season, Randall missed two games with a concussion — something he disputed. With the additional missed time, whispers of Randall being “injury prone” have started to grow — something he is well aware off.
The fifth-year safety took to Twitter to sound off on those calling him out.
“Injury prone,” Randall wrote, following it up with a GIF from Monsters, Inc. of Boo blinking. “Ya’ll crack me up.”
Damarious Randall Never Scared to Speak his Mind
Randall isn’t scared to speak his mind (even being named the best trash-talker on the team), which was evident when he was sidelined with a concussion.
“I’ve had one in my life,” Randall said of his concussion history, referencing one he had in 2017.
“No comment,” he went on to say when pressed on the issue. “I was just placed in concussion protocol on Friday before the Jets game. I just went in protocol then.”
Without Randall on the field, Jermaine Whitehead, Eric Murray and Juston Burris will be relied on to fill in.
“I think Jermaine has done a good job of making sure everyone is on the same page,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters. “He is kind of the quarterback back there and he has played well, defended the ball well, and tackled well. I have a lot of confidence in Jermaine.”
Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams Expected Back for Browns
On a positive note, both staring corners Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward are expected to be active for the first time since Week 3. Like Randall, they were dealing with hamstring issues, but no longer carry an injury designation on the report.
“When you’ve got two guys who can come in and make plays and do things like that,” Williams said, “that definitely gives the defense a boost. We’re just putting more playmakers on the field and that definitely gives our defense a chance to win the game.”
Williams was impressive in the preseason and training camp, earning the starting gig at corner. He was looking like a second-round steal — and still very will might be — before the injury bug bit.
After being selected No. 4 overall in the 2018 draft, Ward made the Pro Bowl as a rookie a season ago, establishing himself as a top corner in the league. The Ohio State product collected three interceptions, 11 passes defensed, a forced fumble and 36 tackles during his rookie campaign.
Also on the injury front, after being limited on Thursday due to a knee issue, defensive end Myles Garrett was a full-go on Friday and is expected to be fine.
“You have to put things on there when they’re getting treatment, stuff like that,” Kitchens explained of Garrett’s injury designation. “That’s the reason he was on there. He’ll be ready to go.”