Browns searching for answers at WR after pass game struggles in loss to Chargers

The Browns are searching for answers at wide receiver after Sunday's blowout loss to the Chargers.

Cleveland's pass game struggled in a 38-14 defeat partly because of a position group that's been ravaged by injuries and inexperience among other dynamics.

"We just have to take what we have, keep coaching and get better," said coach Hue Jackson, who declined to use those struggles as an excuse in a game in which his team got overpowered from start to finish. "Next guy's up. They have to get up and play."

To be sure, the Browns are running out of next men up at this rate; they have six receivers on the active roster, three of which who are healthy enough to play. 

First, third-year receiver Rashard Higgins — who has been one of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield's favorite targets — is week-to-week after suffering a sprained MCL last week against the Ravens. His replacement, undrafted rookie Derrick Willies, broke his collarbone days later in Friday's practice. Cleveland will also be without veteran journeyman Rod Streater, who suffered a broken neck against the Chargers, for the remainder of the season. Earlier this year, the Browns traded away disappointing first-round pick in Corey Coleman and former star Josh Gordon. 

It leaves the Browns with Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry — whom Los Angeles held to two catches for 11 yards Sunday — and a cast of unproven youngsters in rookies Antonio Callaway and Damion Ratley, who both struggled against the Chargers, and newcomer Breshad Perriman, the former Ravens first-round draft pick whom the club signed Saturday. 

"We have to step up and make plays when the ball comes our way," Ratley said. "We need to make plays when plays need to be made."

Jackson echoed a similar sentiment, pointing to a pair of passes that looked like they would've been touchdowns had they been caught. 

"Have to get better. Have to make those plays," he said. "We expect them to make those plays. They can. They had chances to make them. I did not see them totally. I will watch the tape. I know they were close, but we'll see if they really truly had a chances to make those catches."

Jackson also made clear the Browns need more out of their receivers but "nobody's going to cry about it right now."

"No other team cares about what our issues are. We have to fix them, and we will. We're just getting off of a game where we did not play as well," he continued.

"We will look at every avenue to fix whatever we think the issues are as we move forward so I am sure we will do that."

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