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Browns offensive line had 'best game yet' vs. Bengals - News & Notes

The Browns have had to mix and match along the offensive line all throughout the second half of the season for a variety of reasons. Sunday was no different, as Kendall Lamm made his first start of the season at right tackle in place of an injured Chris Hubbard.

The results, though, were much different than some of the previous weeks. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens called the unit's performance "our best game yet."

"We were on those guys in the run game as far as maintaining blocks and things like that down the field," Kitchens said. "Did an excellent job on a critical screen pass that we had late in the game on 3rd and 10. Did an excellent job down the field. Just overall, I think those guys played one of their best games across the board."

On top of Lamm's presence, the Browns also had Greg Robinson back after missing the previous week's game with a concussion. The starting lineup of Robinson, Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Wyatt Teller and Lamm was the sixth different combination of the season. Bitonio and Tretter are the only members of the group who have started every game.

The Browns surrendered just one sack after allowing five to the Steelers in Week 13. Cleveland got off to a slow start rushing the ball against the Bengals but kicked it into overdrive in the second half and finished with 146 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry.

Asked if Lamm, who injured his knee Week 1 and was inactive for most of the team's games up until Sunday, would remain in the starting lineup when Hubbard recovered from a knee injury, Kitchens said the Browns "have not approached that yet."

Check out the best photos from the Cleveland Browns win over the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday by the Browns photo team

-- Kitchens said the team thought it was best to give DE Olivier Vernon another week to recover from a knee injury that's now kept him out of four games.

Vernon returned after three weeks for the Browns' game in Pittsburgh but only played 12 snaps. He practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday and Thursday of last week but did not participate Friday.

Kitchens said Vernon's progress throughout the week will determine whether he's able to play this coming Sunday in Arizona.

-- Even though Damarious Randall returned from a one-game absence and played every snap Sunday against the Bengals, rookie Sheldrick Redwine didn't see much of a dropoff in his playing time. The fourth-round rookie was on the field for the majority of snaps after playing most of them the previous week in Randall's spot.

The Browns deployed a safety rotation Sunday that featured Randall, Redwine and Juston Burris, the latter of whom had the least snaps in the trio. Rookie J.T. Hassell, who played one week earlier, was limited to special teams work.

"I think the last couple of weeks, Sheldrick has done the things that has earned him the right to play more and that continued yesterday," Kitchens said. "I think he was a factor in the game, positively. He did, his range is very evident when he is in the middle of the field.

"I think we got a pretty good rotation there with him, Juston, Damarious and J.T. Hassell comes in from time-to-time too. I think we got a pretty good rotation. I think as long as you continue to play well, your snaps continue to increase."