The season is officially over for Cleveland Browns embattled wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
Higgins is inactive for the Browns season finale against the Bengals — an appropriate way to close out a disappointing season.
The Colorado State product finishes his season with just four catches for 55 yards and one touchdown. Since Nov. 3, he’s had one reception — which ended up being the game-winning touchdown against the Bills. He played no snaps on offense that past three games.
Rashard Higgins Uncertain of Future
Higgins can become a free agent after the season. He signed a one-year, $2 million contract as a restricted free agent this offseason, with eyes on bigger things on the horizon after a strong season that included 39 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns.
Being stuck on the sideline is not doing wonders for his future value or the prospect of him staying in Cleveland despite being a fan-favorite.
“The fans are wonderful,” Higgins told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “A lot of people say they’re the best in the world, and I kind of feel like that, too. They’ve been a big supporting cast for me … just because what I’ve been through and them feeling my story, how I became who I am today, me getting cut [in 2017], still working hard and making the squad, being somebody that wants to be here.
“I definitely haven’t given up faith,” Higgins added. “It’s tough on me, and I’ve just got to keep my head up.”
Browns TE David Njoku Active Against Bengals
After being a healthy scratch the last two games, tight end David Njoku was part of the active lineup against the Bengals.
Njoku returned from a Week 2 wrist injury that landed him on the IR and had surgery to assure he could make it back to help his team. However, the former first-round pick seems to have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff.
He didn’t expect to be standing in street clothes down the stretch of the season.
“I didn’t, which is why I pushed coming back so hard,” he told cleveland.com. “I didn’t come back from a wrist injury this fast to sit on the sideline. It hurts my heart. I’ve got to say, this is not what I saw coming, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. I’ve got to keep moving from there.”
Njoku caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four touchdowns last season. He has just 41 yards and one score this year.
“Obviously I want to be out there giving it my all with my teammates, but under whatever condition, I’m a healthy scratch for the second week in a row,” he said. “Here we are last game, and I’m still unsure whether I’m allowed to play or not. It’s tough, but it’s not up to me.’’
When it comes to players like Higgins and Njoku, head coach Freddie Kitchens has reiterated the same sentiment.
“We’re going to play the people I think gives us the best chance to win each week,” Kitchens this week, mirror what he’s said in past weeks. “Depending on what that is, we’ll see how it goes Sunday.”
The Browns are 2.5-point favorites against the Bengals.