Browns notes: Derrick Willies breaks collarbone, out Sunday

Myles Garrett says he needs to more "highlight games"

Daryl Ruiter
October 12, 2018 - 4:03 pm
Derrick Willies Cleveland Browns Baltimore Ravens overtime catch

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Already shorthanded with Rashard Higgins out with an MCL sprain, the Browns lost his expected replacement in Derrick Willies.

Willies suffered a broken collarbone during Friday’s practice and is out for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The injury opens the door for rookie Damion Ratley and Rod Streater to receive more playing time against the Chargers.

“It’s definitely adjustment but that’s why we’re pros,” Streater said after practice Friday. “Coaches tell us to learn every position, learn the whole playbook, so at any moment we can be swapped around and the more you can do, the better you can help this team, so we’re all ready, we’re handling it like pros and whatever happens, we’ll be ready to go.”

Ratley, who was inactive in Week 1 and the last two weeks, has just one offensive snap this season and 19 on special teams.  

“He has deceptive speed, cornerback Denzel Ward said of Ratley. “I did not think that he was as fast as he is. He is not a burner, but he is definitely fast enough. He is a good receiver. He can run. He can catch. He is a good catcher.”

Streater, who has 23 offensive and 39 special teams snaps the last two weeks, was called on for a reverse in overtime against the Ravens that lost 11 yards back to the five-yard line.

With Willies now out, Streater and the rest of the receivers have to step up.

“It happens, but young guys, old guys, we all have to step up,” Streater said. “We are confident in Ratley or whoever has to come in and make those plays. That is why we always stay ready. We learn the plays and learn how to play each position.”

Short highlight reel – Myles Garrett is on pace for 16 sacks this season, yet he’s not satisfied.

“I need some more highlight games,” Garrett said. “Some games where you go back and say, ‘He took over.’ The Steelers might have been one of them, but I need some more of those.”

Garrett’s five sacks, which he called “average,” ranks fifth in the NFL and he has forced two fumbles this season in addition to two pass breakups, eight quarterback hits and four tackles for loss.

Ward ROTW, again – Ward was voted the Pepsi ‘Rookie of the Week’ Friday marking the fourth time in five weeks that a Brown has won the honor.

“It makes me feel good. I'm just here to help this team and doing whatever I can do that,” Ward said.

Ward, who was also named the AFC special teams Player of the Week this week, won the award in Week 1, Baker Mayfield in Week 3 and Nick Chubb in Week 4.

“There’s much more season to play, but he’s definitely off to a hot start,” Garrett said. “He’s made some big plays for us. We knew he could. He’s just doing what he was built to do.”

Color rush – Jackson loves the Browns color rush uniforms and wishes they’d be their permanent threads too.

“We only get to wear them three times so that is disappointing,” Jackson said. “Maybe they should call the league and petition for those to become our uniforms. I love those uniforms. They are hot.”

The special uniforms will be worn once more this season and new uniforms are on the way in 2020.

Rally Possum – Jackson is also on board with the ‘Rally Possum’ phenomenon that has taken on a life of its own since a fan caught one in the stands prior to their victory over the Jets on Sept. 20.

“Please put that possum out there on Sunday,” Jackson said. “If that is what it is, then let’s find a whole bunch of them and stick them in the stands.”

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams also had some thoughts on the Browns’ new good luck charm.

“I thought that it was funny. I just saw it a couple of days ago,” Williams said. “I grew up hunting those things and had to eat them. I grew up on a farm, and we had to do those types of things. There is a special way that you have to cook them if you are ever going to eat them. I will not go into that.”

Injury report – Out: WR Rashard Higgins (knee), WR Derrick Willies (shoulder)

Questionable: LB James Burgess (knee)

Expected to play: LT Desmond Harrison (knee) , TE Seth DeValve (hamstring), CB EJ Gaines (groin), S Damarious Randall (heel)