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Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon
NFL hasn't cleared Josh Gordon to practice
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, 12:16 PM
Tom Pelissero on Twitter
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy reports Josh Gordon hasn't been cleared to practice.
Analysis: Gordon is still in the league's substance abuse program and needs to pass certain conditions before practicing. It's possible not meeting the conditions are why Gordon delayed reporting to training camp. The league "doesn't have a timetable" on Gordon's next step. Gordon can attend meetings and do conditioning, but he's not out of the woods yet.
Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon reports to Browns training camp
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, 11:26 AM
Chronicle Telegram
Josh Gordon has reported to the Browns' training camp.
Analysis: Gordon is expected to practice Sunday after skipping the first three weeks of camp for health reasons. The Browns have supported Gordon throughout the process and are welcoming him back. It's a strange situation that Gordon didn't get help before the preseason, but there's been nothing to suggest he's in trouble with the league. Gordon will be moved slowly but has enough time to be on the field for Week 1. Gordon's return should end Cleveland's pursuit of Dez Bryant.
Antonio Callaway
Callaway takes step back after strong debut
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, 8:49 AM
Antonio Callaway was held without a catch in Cleveland's second preseason game.
Analysis: It's a step back after Callaway went off for 87 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener. Callaway has a chance for a big early season role with Josh Gordon's status up in the air, but his outlook is clouded by Cleveland's interest in Dez Bryant and a potential suspension. The Browns have stood behind Callaway and believed he's stayed clean despite his latest off-field setback.
Nick Chubb rushes for 53 yards and TD vs BUF
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 9:43 PM
Browns RB Nick Chubb rushed 11 times for 53 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game versus the Bills.
Analysis: Chubb added two receptions for zero yards in the receiving game. A week after finding no room to run, Chubb still ran into offensive issues on Friday, but found a bit more daylight than in the preseason opener. Chubb's best run came on a 17-yard scamper off the left side where he went out of bounds at the 1-yard line, setting up his own touchdown plunge three plays later. Chubb is the clear backup to Carlos Hyde and is even behind Duke Johnson for rushing volume. Chubb is nothing but a late-round stash at this stage for fantasy purposes.
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield throws for 75 yards vs Bills
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 9:24 PM
Browns QB Baker Mayfield completed 7-of-13 passes for 75 yards with nine yards rushing on four attempts in Friday's preseason game versus the Bills.
Analysis: Mayfield's 5.6 yards per attempt were a far cry from his 10.6 yards per attempt in his debut a week ago. Although he started the game slowly, the Browns' second-team offensive line did him no favors early on. Mayfield and the Browns went three-and-out on his first three possessions before he led scoring drives on each of his final two drives of the night. He also lost potential passing scores to an offensive pass interference penalty and another on a replay review. With Tyrod Taylor the unquestioned starter entering the season, Mayfield will look to build on an overall positive start to the preseason next Thursday versus the Eagles.
Carlos Hyde
Carlos Hyde plows through Bills first team D
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 7:48 PM
Brown RB Carlos Hyde rushed 9 times for 64 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game versus the Bills.
Analysis: After playing just three snaps in the preseason opener a week ago, Hyde got four possessions with the first team offense. Hyde set the tone early, rushing five times for 41 yards on the opening drive of the game, capped off with a 4-yard touchdown run. Five of his nine carries went for five or more yards, including a 26-yard jaunt in which he bullied Jordan Poyer to the ground with a stiff arm. Hyde is clearly the starting running back for the Browns entering the season, providing a discounted fantasy option for owners looking for RB help in the middle of the draft.
Josh Gordon
Browns still expecting Josh Gordon to return
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 3:54 PM
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Browns still expect Josh Gordon to return for the 2018 season, "possibly" by Week 1.
Analysis: The report comes amidst renewed Twitter innuendo about Gordon's status. Free agent Dez Bryant also visited the Browns on Thursday. Just 24 days away from the Browns' opener, a "believe it when you see it" attitude is probably the best course of action in fantasy leagues.
Baker Mayfield
OC: Mayfield has 'made consistent progress'
Thu, Aug 16, 2018, 9:57 AM
Akron Beacon-Journal
Browns OC Todd Haley said Baker Mayfield has "made consistent progress."
Analysis: "I thought it wasn't too big for him," Haley said of the preseason opener. "He was by no means perfect, but he kept his cool. He was never flustered. I think it's clear to everybody he can really throw the football." Despite the strong showing in the first preseason game, the Browns have vowed to stick to the plan at quarterback, and Haley tempered his praise by saying Mayfield has to "keep working" and "keep learning from the older guys in the room." Tyrod Taylor is going to start Week 1, but Mayfield should see the field at some point as a rookie.
Joel Bitonio
Joel Bitonio 'getting there' at left tackle
Tue, Aug 14, 2018, 9:32 AM
Akron Beacon-Journal
Joel Bitonio said he is "getting there" at left tackle.
Analysis: A guard to this point in his career, Bitonio has been tasked with replacing Joe Thomas on the blindside. He said he felt "a little like a fish out of water" in his first start at the new position, but he is settling in. With Bitonio at tackle, rookie Austin Corbett started the preseason opener at left guard.
Baker Mayfield
Browns 'sticking to' the plan with Mayfield
Mon, Aug 13, 2018, 11:04 AM
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Browns QBs coach Ken Zampese said the team has their plan for Baker Mayfield and are "sticking to it."
Analysis: Mayfield made some noise with an impressive preseason opener, but it has not changed the Browns thinking at quarterback. Zampese said any talk about Mayfield winning the starting job was "national hype," and coach Hue Jackson said "nothing's changed" at quarterback. Tyrod Taylor is going to start Week 1, but it will be difficult for the coaching staff to keep Mayfield on the bench all season.
Denzel Ward
CLE wants CB Denzel Ward to shadow No. 1 WRs
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 1:09 PM
Scott Petrak on Twitter
Browns DB coach DeWayne Walker said CB Denzel Ward could open the season playing left cornerback then begin to match up with opposing No. 1 receivers as the season progresses.
Analysis: This is hardly a shock as Ward's one-on-one matchup ability in college is what gave him the highest ceiling of any corner in this class. He showed to be a 98th-percentile SPARQ athlete at the combine, destroying the forty (4.32), vertical (39"), and broad (11'4") jump tests. The Browns' defense will see Antonio Brown (twice), A.J. Green (twice), Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins, and Mike Evans this season.
Nick Chubb struggles to gain steam in debut
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 8:56 PM
Browns RB Nick Chubb rushed 15 times for 11 yards while catching one pass for 12 yards in Thursday's preseason opener versus the Giants
Analysis: Chubb's longest rush of the night was just four yards, but his low-yardage total was largely not his fault. The Browns backup line was dominated in the run game as Chubb frequently was hit in the backfield on the majority of his carries, forcing him to break tackles and fight back to the line of scrimmage on his attempts. Chubb however appears to be well behind Carlos Hyde for the early-down role in the offense as Hyde played just three snaps in the game before being put on ice. Chubb will look for more room to run next week against the Bills.
Antonio Callaway
Antonio Callaway has 87 yards, TD in debut
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 8:49 PM
Browns WR Antonio Callaway caught 3-of-7 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason opener versus the Giants.
Analysis: After his week began on an ominous note when it was revealed that Callaway was cited for marijuana possession a week earlier, Callaway suited up and played well in his first NFL action. Callaway was the favorite target for Baker Mayfield, particularly on third downs. Callaway made a sensational 24-yard catch on the sideline early in the third quarter to extend a drive and then on a 3rd & 5 in the 4th quarter, Callaway caught a slant and beat the Giants' defense the rest of the way down the middle of the field for a 54-yard touchdown. Callaway's talent level has never been in question as he looks to put his off-field transgressions in the rear view as his rookie season begins.
Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield turns in positive NFL debut
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 8:41 PM
Browns QB Baker Mayfield completed 11-of-20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's preseason game versus the Giants.
Analysis: Mayfield played with a mix of starters and backups on his first two drives, leading a 72-yard scoring drive on his second possession in which he was 3-of-6 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown. Mayfield picked up two first downs rushing on the drive, including a scramble on fourth down that set up his touchdown strike, a 10-yard pass to David Njoku. On his seventh and final drive of the night, Mayfield hit rookie Antonio Callaway on a sharp slant on third down that Callaway took 54-yards for a touchdown. On his five other possessions, Mayfield and the Browns struggled to get things going, totaling just five first downs with three 3-and-out possessions. Although the overall efficiency wasn't there as Mayfield had multiple throwaways, he looked poised in the offense and extended plays with his legs while keeping his eyes downfield. Not expected to push Tyrod Taylor out of the starting job quite yet, Mayfield will look to build on his strong showing next week against the Bills.
David Njoku
David Njoku catches TDs from Tyrod and Baker
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 7:52 PM
Browns TE David Njoku caught two passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's preseason game versus the Giants.
Analysis: The Giants struggled versus opposing tight ends all of 2017 and the preseason opener was no different. Njoku flashed his athleticism, catching a 36-yard touchdown down the seam from Tyrod Taylor in which he blew past Alec Ogletree and then raced the rest of way into the end zone ahead of Darian Thompson. Njoku wasn't done when the Cleveland starters came out, playing two drives with Baker Mayfield, capping a 72-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown catch over multiple New York defenders on his final play of the night. Njoku is looking to make a leap in his second NFL season after catching 32-of-60 targets for 386 yards with four touchdowns as a rookie. He is an upside play at a limited tight end position for fantasy purposes.
Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor perfect in CLE preseason debut
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 7:04 PM
Browns QB Tyrod Taylor was 5-for-5 passing for 99 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason game versus the Giants.
Analysis: Taylor found Jarvis Landry for a 32-yard gain on his first pass of the game and then again for another four yards before the opening drive inevitably fizzled out. On his second and final drive, Taylor connected with Rishard Higgins on two passes for 6 and 21 yards before finding David Njoku down the seam for a 36-yard touchdown. He added two yards rushing on one carry. Head Coach Hue Jackson has named Taylor the undoubted starting quarterback entering the season, giving Taylor appeal for those opening the season looking to stream the quarterback position.
Antonio Callaway
Browns believe Antonio Callaway's story
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 5:04 PM
Nate Ulrich on Twitter
Browns GM John Dorsey says the team believes Antonio Callaway's story that the marijuana found in his car during a Sunday morning traffic stop was not his.
Analysis: Dorsey apparently conveyed they have "low tolerance" for such issues, but Callaway is expected to be active for Thursday's preseason game. The Akron Beacon-Journal reported Thursday that Callaway did not inform the team of the incident, and that they found out through the media on Tuesday. It's an ominous development for a player who failed a drug test at the Combine after his Florida career was littered with off-the-field issues.
Josh Gordon
'No timetable' for Josh Gordon's return
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 5:03 PM
Nate Ulrich on Twitter
Speaking Thursday, Browns GM John Dorsey said there was "no timetable" for Josh Gordon's return to the team.
Analysis: The Browns have tried to project positivity on Gordon's potential return, but they don't seem to know anything more than the rest of us. Their continued interest in free agent Dez Bryant might speak louder than words. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported four days ago that Gordon was "getting closer to returning." We are 31 days away from the Browns' opener.
Antonio Callaway
Antonio Callaway expected to play Thursday
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 1:15 PM
Akron Beacon-Journal
Antonio Callaway is expected to be active for Thursday's preseason opener despite his weekend citation for marijuana possession.
Analysis: It's surprising, especially since the Akron Beacon-Journal reports Callaway did not inform the team of the incident. They apparently learned about it through the media on Tuesday. In between Callaway's citation and the team finding out was Corey Coleman's trade to Buffalo. It's quite possible that would have gone down differently had the Browns had all the facts. Despite the entire ordeal, the Browns apparently believe Callaway has "stayed clean," and have bought his story the marijuana in his car belonged to his brother.
Antonio Callaway
Browns believe Callaway has 'stayed clean'
Wed, Aug 8, 2018, 4:25 PM
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Browns believe Antonio Callaway has "stayed clean" despite last week's off-field incident.
Analysis: Callaway was cited for driving with a suspended license and marijuana possession during a Sunday traffic stop. It's a concern with Callaway in Stage 1 of the Substance Abuse Program, but the Browns are buying his story that he "drove the car without checking its contents." Callaway travelled with the team for Thursday's preseason opener and looks on track to make his debut.