At this point, all Rashard Higgins can do is laugh.
Higgins, who was slated to be the team’s No. 3 wide receiver entering the season, played just one snap in the Browns 27-19 victory against the Bengals. That one play came on special teams during an onside kick attempt.
Damion Ratley (28 snaps) and KhaDarel Hodge (19 snaps) both saw more playing time than Higgins.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens was again asked about the lack of playing time for Higgins on Wednesday.
“We try to play the players that give us the best chance to win each and every week” Kitchens said. “That is strictly a week-to-week thing so it may be different this week than it was last week. It may be different next week than it is this week.”
Shortly after Kitchens’ comments, Higgins came out with a tweet that featured simply laughing emojis, which many took as a response to the explanation from his head coach.
Freddie Kitchens Cryptic on What’s Keeping Rashard Higgins Sidelined
Higgins is coming off a year where he had 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns — all career highs. He also built a strong rapport with quarterback Baker Mayfield as a security blanket of sorts.
Higgins missed five games with a sprained MCL he suffered in the team’s opener against the Titans, slowing him down a bit. But since being back, he’s been targeted just eight times, catching two balls for seven yards and one key touchdown.
Kitchens has been cryptic when it comes to Higgins and what is keeping him out of action.
“It all comes down to being where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there and how you get there is supposed to be dictated by what they do,” Kitchens said in November. “We need to be consistent in that, and Hig is getting more and more consistent in doing that.
“That helps the quarterback out, that helps the offensive line out, that helps the running back out and that helps the offense in general out when you do those kind of things. He is doing a good job. He has been getting better every week. Some of that came to fruition.”
Rashard Higgins a Free Agent After the Season
Coming off his solid year, Higgins signed a one-year, $2 million contract as a restricted free agent this offseason, with eyes on a bigger things on the horizon. Being relegated to the sideline is not doing wonders for his future value or the prospect of him staying in Cleveland.
But there are plenty of questions surrounding the future of the Browns, Kitchens in particular, with the hot seat growing by the day for the first-year skipper.
There’s also the issues with star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has been he subject of rampant rumors and reports that he wants out from Cleveland after a disappointing season.
So while Higgins certainly isn’t the biggest problem on the Browns docket, it is just part of the equation in what has been a tumultuous season that looks like it will end with the team extending their playoff drought that dates back to 2002.