Cleveland Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins (81) celebrates his touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens with wide receiver Antonio Callaway (11) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium.

© Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Browns notes: Rashard Higgins aims for quick return from MCL sprain

Snoop Dogg visits, Hue Jackson appreciates John Dorsey

October 11, 2018

Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – MCL sprains usually are a 2-4-week injury, and depending on the severity, sometimes longer, but Rashard Higgins is on his own timeline.

“My hope is within a week,” Higgins said Wednesday as he sat at his locker.

“That’s what I’m telling myself. This is all a mind game.”  

Higgins suffered the injury in the 12-9 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, something he said he’s never experienced before.

“It’s all part of the plan, I guess,” Higgins said. “I didn’t mean to get hurt. I want to do all I can to get back on the field.

“I just felt like it was something minor. I didn’t think it was going to be what it was, but it is what it is.”

Higgins caught three of four targets for 66 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown with 40 seconds remaining in the first half in the win and he ranks first on the team with a 15.3 yards per catch average, second in yardage with 244 and third in receptions with 16.

The MCL sprain was a result of Higgins trying to block down field on a third down completion to tight end David Njoku.

“It would’ve made everything better is he would’ve gotten the first down,” Higgins said. “But he didn’t, so I’m still a little [upset].”

Higgins didn’t sound too worried about trying to return too soon.

“The trainers are going to do a great job of getting me back on the field,” Higgins said. “I’m going to listen to my body at the end of the day. If I’m ready to go then I’ll go.”

Thanks, John – For two years head coach Hue Jackson bemoaned the lack of pure football talent on the team while the front office traded high draft picks for a bunch of lower ones, but things have changed under GM John Dorsey.

The impact of the rookie class has been significant, and Jackson has no complaints about the work Dorsey and the front office has done this year to reconstruct the worst team over a two-year stretch in NFL history.

“I think this is what you can start to expect,” Jackson said. “How we see players, we see them a lot through the same lens. We go about our process. It has been a good one. We need to continue to tighten up all those things as we go, but this has been John’s track record. He goes and finds talent, and then he turns it over to the coaches and we have to coach it and put these guys in position to make plays. I think that is what is starting to happen.”

Quarterback and No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield has energized the entire team with his confidence and play which has resulted in two wins in the last three weeks.

No. 4 overall pick Denzel Ward is tied for the league lead with three interceptions and is responsible for four of the 15 defensive takeaways. He has six pass break-ups a forced fumble, fumble recovery, tackle for loss and blocked field goal.

The No. 35 pick, Nick Chubb, broke off TD runs of 63 and 41 yards against the Raiders and is averaging 11.4 yards per carry in limited time.

Antonio Callaway picked 105th overall in round 4 has 177 yards receiving on 13 catches with a touchdown and left tackle Desmond Harrison, and undrafted free agent, is improving at left tackle in five starts this season.

Snoop in the house – Snoop Dogg pulled up to the Browns’ facility in his massive white tour bus unannounced on Wednesday.

The famous rapper and entertainer, who is ironically a Steelers fan, is friends with Browns receiver Jarvis Landry and knows head coach Hue Jackson.

“It was good to have him out for a moment,” Jackson said. “A lot of guys see him on the sideline, and his message was ‘Man, you guys are doing some good things, some really good things.’ I thought that was great.”

While Jackson appreciated the surprise visit, he also had a warning for his players,

“At the same time, there are going to be a lot of people that want to come be on this wagon when the wagon gets rolling, and we are going to circle the wagon,” Jackson said. “I know that because I did not see any of these people the last two years. I am still the same guy. I still knew all of these people prior to this year. We are not going to get caught up in any of that. Our players won’t, and that is my message to them.”

If Jackson and the Browns keep winning, maybe they can get Snoop Dogg to trade in his black and gold for orange and brown.

Country music star Brad Paisley, former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice, baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, comedian Arsenio Hall and even the late great king of rock ‘n roll Elvis Presley are among the famous Browns fans worldwide.  

So, we meet again – This marks the fourth consecutive season the Browns face the Chargers.

San Diego won 30-27 in 2015 and Los Angeles was victorious, 19-10, in 2017. Cleveland’s win was memorable – Christmas eve 2016, 20-17, that was aided by Jamie Meder’s blocked field goal late in the fourth quarter to salvage a 1-15 campaign.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, now in his second season, remembers not being too excited for the winless Browns to visit last year and he’s seen what the resurgent team looks like this year making the trip east one he’s not looking forward to.

“We were scared to death of this team,” Lynn said on a conference call from Los Angeles. “This team is talented, young. When they came in here, I know that they had not won a game, but it was like they were the best undefeated team that we have ever seen. We did not put up a lot of points last year.

“We know that they have talent on both sides of the ball. It looks like it is coming together under Hue. Hue has done a good job with the roster. We are expecting a four-quarter football game, a dogfight.”

Burgess back – Linebacker James Burgess, who had been sidelined with a knee injury suffered Sept. 20 against the Jets, returned to practice and was limited Wednesday.

Injury report – Did not practice: WR Rashard Higgins (knee)

Limited: LB James Burgess (knee), TE Seth DeValve (hamstring), CB EJ Gaines (groin), S Damarious Randall (heel)

Full: LT Desmond Harrison (knee)