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News & Notes: C Ethan Pocic set to be activated from injured reserve

Pocic will start his first game since Week 11


The Browns are set to return a key piece in their interior offensive line for their Week 16 game Saturday against the Saints.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Thursday that C Ethan Pocic will be activated from injured reserve for the game after a good week of practice. He was designated to return from IR on Tuesday and will play for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in Week 11 against the Bills.

"He looked like himself [in practice]," Stefanski said. "He will be fully activated."

Pocic graded as one of the top centers in the league, per Pro Football Focus, before his injury and still ranks third among centers with an 83.0 overall grade. He's also fourth in the league with an 84.3 run block grade and was a big reason why RB Nick Chubb was — and still is — among the top rushing leaders in the league.

Pocic remained calm as he went through his rehab work and was thankful to receive a chance to finish his excellent season on the field rather than the sidelines.

"You can do all the prehab and rehab and stuff, but this is football and it's a violent game," Pocic said. "Stuff happens. I guess you can say it was frustrating, but I was just trusting God and trusting whatever is planned for me."

Pocic said the injury happened to his MCL, but it wasn't a complete tear and only needed a month to recover.

"It could be worse, and it could be better," he said. "I can't complain."

The Browns could certainly use a player of Pocic's caliber for Saturday against the Saints — with arctic cold temperatures, wind and possibly even snow expected in the forecast, the Browns could choose to utilize their run game for the bulk of their plays.

That's when players on the offensive line shine the most.

"I'm excited just to go play ball, be back and be in the swing of things," he said.

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the New Orleans Saints

Garrett not taking Pro Bowl vote for granted

DE Myles Garrett was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl of his career Thursday and third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, and he made it clear that he'll never take the opportunity to join the league's greatest players in a Pro Bowl lightly.

"It feels good," he said. "I'm never going to take it for granted, I don't care how many times I am in it. I know (G) Joel (Bitonio) has more than me, and I know he is just as grateful more and more. All of that work, you are just glad that people pay attention to it and really take it to heart because at the end of the day, it is not guaranteed. You might get injured one year or you just might not make it. There are some guys who feel they got snubbed on other teams. You just never know. You just be grateful to get to play in the Pro Bowl because it doesn't come around often for a lot of guys."

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