One thing seems clear: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins is healthy enough to return to the lineup.
Whether he’ll be on the field in uniform at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday to take on the Seattle Seahawks seems like another story entirely.
In a somewhat contentious start to his press conference, Freddie Kitchens addressed whether or not Higgins would be active for the crucial Week 6 contest.
Here was the exchange.
Reporter: Is Higgins expected to play?
Kitchens: “Are you are asking about the inactives?”
Reporter: Will Higgins play Sunday?
Kitchens: “We have not determined that yet.”
Reporter: Is he healthy enough to play?
Kitchens: “He is healthy enough to play.”
Reporter: Is there a reason he wouldn’t play?
Kitchens: “I just have not decided yet.”
Last week, Higgins seemed like he would be a go against the 49ers, but was a surprise inactive. He has been dealing with an ankle injury he suffered in Week 1 against the Titans but has practiced in full all week.
Kitchens shed some light on what he believes Higgins could bring to the table if active — although there still was a degree of annoyance in his answer.
“I think if he does what he is supposed to do, he can have an impact. If he lines up where he is supposed to, runs the right route and catches the ball, I think he can have a tremendous impact,” Kitchens said.
Is it gamesmanship from the first-year skipper to cause some uncertainty for the Seahawks in their preparation? Or is there something else brewing behind the scenes?
Well, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, there’s zero uncertainty from Higgins that he’ll be active.
“I’m excited,” he told Cabot. “See y’all Sunday”
Rashard Higgins Appeared Set for Breakout Season
Higgins figured to play a big role in the offense after a career year and showing off solid chemistry with Baker Mayfield in the preseason.
Higgins was selected by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2016 draft and has been progressively better each year with the team. He went from catching just six balls for just 77 yards his rookie season to 66 in his next two combined.
Last year, he caught a career high 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns, showing off solid chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield, which has carried over to this season.
“I think it goes back to last year getting reps with (Higgins) in camp in the second team, just building chemistry with him and being able to talk to him all the time and just knowing exactly what you’re going to get out of him on every play,” Mayfield said after the team’s preseason opener.
Browns Sign QB Eric Dungey to Practice Squad
After sending WR Derrick Willies to the practice squad/injured list with a torn ACL, the team signed QB prospect Eric Dungey to its practice squad.
Dungey (6-foor-3, 227, pounds) is a rookie quarterback out of Syracuse. He originally signed with the New York Giants after going undrafted.
Dungey set or tied 25 school records with at Syracuse. He played in 39 games with 38 starts from 2015-18, posting 786 completions for 9,340 yards and 58 touchdowns. But he can also do damage with his legs, adding 1,993 yards and 35 touchdowns on 543 carries.
The former Orange QB will be behind Baker Mayfield and Garrett Gilbert on the depth chart. Veteran QB Drew Stanton was put on injured reserve earlier this season with a knee injury.