In­jury carousel is spin­ning for Browns

Schobert, Ran­dall prac­tice; Browns place Kirk­sey, Gaines on in­jured re­serve

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Schudel JSchudel@news-her­ald.com @JSProIn­sider on Twit­ter

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.

RON SCHWANE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is tack­led by Chris­tian Kirk­sey af­ter scor­ing on an 11-yard pass Nov. 4.

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