Injury carousel is spinning for Browns
Schobert, Randall practice; Browns place Kirksey, Gaines on injured reserve
Injuries — and losses — continue to pile up for the Browns.
The Browns on Nov. 7 placed linebacker Christian Kirksey and cornerback E.J. Gaines on injured reserve, which means both players are done for the 2018 season.
The Browns (2-6-1) have lost four straight games. They host the Falcons on Nov. 11 at FirstEnergy Stadium and then go into their bye week with a chance to mend their injured bodies and wounded spirits.
After being blistered by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for 375 yards and three touchdowns Nov. 4, the Browns will have to deal with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who passed for 350 yards and four touchdowns the same day in a 3814 romp over the NFC Eastleading Redskins.
There was some good news on the practice field: Linebacker Joe Schobert,
who missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, practiced Nov. 7. He is itching to get back on the field; Schobert lined up for every defensive snap prior to being injured playing the Chargers on Oct. 14.
“I don’t think I’ll set any records with sprinting, but we’re working our way back up there and as long as everything goes good, no setbacks, no re-injuries, I should be good,” Schobert said after practice when asked about dealing with the assortment of injuries. “Communication has to be
at the forefront. If you’re all wrong, you’re all right. That’s what you always say.
“If you can just get the ball down and make them play another play, you have a chance to turn things in your favor. So just eliminate the big plays and communicate all across the defense and every level and then run to the ball.”
Defensive back Damarious Randall also practiced Nov. 7. Randall missed the game against the Chiefs with a groin injury.
Kirksey, fourth on the team with 43 tackles, suffered a hamstring injury Nov. 4 in the 37-21 loss to the Chiefs. Gaines suffered his second concussion in a span of less than three weeks in the same game.
“I keep my head up cause I’m blessed! Gods plan,” Kirksey tweeted. “Thank you Cleveland, til next year”
The Browns signed defensive back Juston Burris off the Jets practice squad to fill one of the vacant roster spots. Later in the day, they claimed defensive backs Phillip Gaines from the Bills and Jermaine Whitehead from the Packers from waivers. Defensive back Denzel Rice was waived.
Kirksey never missed a game in his first four seasons with the Browns. The 6-foot2, 235-pound linebacker from the University of Iowa made 143 tackles in 2016 and 138 in 2017. He missed two games earlier in 2018 with shoulder and ankle injuries.
Cornerback Denzel Ward, knocked out of the game with the Chiefs because of a hip injury, did not practice Nov. 7. Neither did linebacker Jamie Collins, who was held out with an ankle injury despite playing all 64 defensive plays against the Chiefs.
Coach Gregg Williams said he expects Ward and Collins to return to practice Nov. 8.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is tackled by Christian Kirksey after scoring on an 11-yard pass Nov. 4.