The Cleveland Browns have lost wide receiver and standout punt-returner
Benjamin was injured while returning a punt for a nine-yard gain in the third quarter. Coach Rob Chudzinski said Benjamin would undergo surgery.
“Travis is a big part of what we do, and has been in terms of the return game,” Chudzinski said. “He’s explosive, and has the speed and ability to make the big play. We’ll have some guys that will step up.
“You saw the growth as a player, as a receiver as well as the obvious that you see as a returner, on the punt returns and then, some on the kickoff returns. It’s a tough loss for us, but we’ll have some guys step up.”
Bess returned two punts for eight yards, but mishandled one of the kicks and the Chiefs were able to recover the fumble at their own 47-yard line with a three-point lead and 7:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“I had it,” Bess said. “When I got my eyes up to see where the defenders were, they were there. I must not have had it 100 percent. That’s just discipline. I’ve got to look the ball all the way in, and it starts in practice.
“Those plays can be game-changing plays, change momentum, especially in that situation. It was an opportunity I saw and I swung. I’ve just got to focus on the fundamentals.”
The Chiefs wore more than three minutes off the game clock before punting away to the Browns again. Instead of fielding a line drive and returning it into Kansas City territory, as they had before the fumble, quarterback
“Davone is everything you can ask for in terms of a guy working and doing the things to be the best that he can,” Chudzinski said. “He’s a pro’s pro in that way. I have faith in him that he’ll make the corrections. I know there’s some things from a technical standpoint that he can improve on in that area, and I think some of it is trying to do too much before he gets the ball secured.”
In addition to the fumble, Bess dropped a pair of passes in the loss to the Chiefs.
Although he admitted the last month of games has been a challenging stretch of his career, Bess plans to “focus on being a pro, being accountable, and moving forward.”
“I’ve just got to make the necessary plays, that’s what it comes down to,” Bess said. “Travis is a big playmaker. It’s unfortunate with his injury, but I’ve got to step up. That’s as simple as it gets. There’s nothing to boast about, to talk about, to be down about. It’s just, ‘Go out and get it.’”