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Depth of Browns secondary to be tested in Tampa

The depth of the Browns' defensive secondary will be tested this weekend against the Buccaneers. 

Cleveland will be without starting cornerback E.J. Gaines, who missed Thursday's practice after entering the league's concussion protocol. 

It means the Browns will be without two of their three best corners against a high-powered offense that ranks first in passing yards per game, second in total yards and eighth in points per game. 

"It's tough," head coach Hue Jackson said Thursday. "But again, next man up. Here we go."

Those next men up include T.J. Carrie and Briean Boddy-Calhoun. Carrie started 16 games for the Oakland Raiders and has served as a role player on the back end. Boddy-Calhoun, meanwhile, has played mostly special teams in recent weeks. 

The pair, in addition to sensational rookie Denzel Ward, will face off against one of the league's better receiving corps in Mike Evans (33 catches, 484 yards, 3 TDs), DeSean Jackson (21 catches, 501 yards, 3 TDs) and second-year player Chris Godwin (21 catches, 284 yards, 4 TDs). Tampa Bay also features a dynamic, two-tight end set with former first-round pick O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. 

It's a "heck of a challenge," Jackson said. 

"You have one guy [Evans] that is big and fast. Another guy that is smaller and fast [Jackson]. The other guy [Godwin] is in between and can do all of those things, too," he continued. 

"We understand what the challenge is. That's how they score. I said it yesterday, they have 16 touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. They're going to throw the football."

Gaines, who has an interception and three pass breakups in five games, including two starts, had previously replaced the injured Terrance Mitchell, who's recovering from wrist surgery. 

"I think that (Gaines) did some good things. After the Raiders game and Mitch went down, I think that he accepted the challenge," Jackson said. "I think that he was doing some good things for us. It's a tough blow. Nothing that you can do about it when they have these concussion symptoms. You have to make sure that you take care of them."