After another narrow defeat this past weekend, neither Browns rookie defensive end Carl Nassib nor his teammates are discouraged by what's been a winless start to the season.
"I mean you've got to love the game, right? Everybody loves the game," he said when asked about that dynamic Thursday afternoon.
"Motivation is not lacking here at all, we're very motivated. We're going to improve every week. I'm excited for this team."
That includes Nassib, who has missed the past two weeks with a broken hand in what had thus far been a promising rookie debut.
"It was frustrating but I just took it as trying to make it a positive out of the situation," Nassib said, "just getting my body right and study as much as I could."
Browns head coach Hue Jackson said the rookie from Penn State is doing everything in his power to give himself a chance to play against the Patriots on Sunday.
"He's practiced well. He's going 100 miles an hour. You know Carl," Jackson said. "We'll see where we are at the end of the week and see if we can get him out there."
Jackson added Nassib's prospects of suiting up this weekend also depends on pain tolerance among other factors. "I think he has to help us in that process," he said. "We'll talk to him and see how he feels, but he's had a good week."
With the help of the Browns training staff, Nassib said he feels rested after having surgery to repair the damage shortly after suffering the injury against the Ravens in Week 2.
"If he's able to play against New England, he'll have to wear a protective club, something he's never had to do before.
"It's a little challenging but I think I'll handle it pretty well," Nassib said.
Nassib, who shined during the preseason and notched his first career sack in Week 1 against the Eagles, said learning the ins and outs of playing in the NFL remain a work in progress.
"There are some things that I need to improve on and getting experience in the game is one of them but I'm going to strive to be the best I can," he said.
While he and the Browns pass rush will be responsible for applying pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (who makes his debut after a four-game suspension), Cleveland will also have to buckle down against running back LeGarrette Blount and a New England run game that ranks third in the league.
"He runs hard and they do a good job blocking," Nassib said, adding he's "very excited to compete against the whole Patriots offense."
Nassib, who figures to provide the Browns defense with a boost when he returns, added: "We're just going to go out and do our jobs as fast and as precise as we can every single play."