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Browns DB K'Waun Williams out vs. Oakland, Pierre Desir ready for bigger role

Browns defensive back K'Waun Williams won't be available Sunday against the Oakland Raiders because of a concussion.

Coach Mike Pettine said Williams complained of headaches after Thursday's practice. After an evaluation, Williams was placed in the NFL's concussion protocol and sidelined from Friday's practice.

Williams' absence is significant to the Browns secondary, but members of the group were confident in Pierre Desir and Johnson Bademosi, both of whom could see a major increase in snaps Sunday.

"It's a great opportunity for me," Desir said. "I'm just blessed the coaches have enough faith to put me in there. I'm just ready to do whatever to help the team win."

Desir, who earned a surprise start near the end of last season when injuries ran rampant in the Browns secondary, was one of the team's standout players during OTAs and the start of training camp. A hamstring injury, though, limited the second-year player and kept him off the field for multiple weeks.

All but one of Desir's 15 snaps last week came on special teams.

"I have great confidence in myself," Desir said. "This is Year 2 in the system, so I feel a lot more comfortable than I did a year before."

The nickel back is an important role within the Browns' defense, especially against a team like the Raiders, who often use three or more receivers to complement second-year quarterback Derek Carr.

Williams started and played 47 snaps last week against the Titans, the third-most of any defensive player outside of Cleveland's core starting four in the secondary.

"You have to have a different mindset because you don't have the sideline to help you when you are playing outside corner," Desir said. "When you are playing in the slot, the receiver basically has a two-way go and you really have to very disciplined with your technique and with your eyes."

Joe Haden mentioned fellow cornerback Tramon Williams as another possible option to fill the void left by K'Waun Williams. If the veteran starter moved inside, Desir or Bademosi are more than capable on the outside.

Safety Jordan Poyer is another potential option, Pettine said.

"It's really unfortunate he can't be out there," Haden said. "Like we always say, next man up."

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