The Browns on Friday could receive a few big jolts to their defensive line in a tough matchup Sunday against the Chargers.
One Pro Bowl player is definitely returning to the group — DE Myles Garrett (shoulder, biceps) is set to play Sunday for the first time since he was in a car accident Sept. 26. Garrett missed Week 4 against the Falcons but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to be a full-go for Week 5 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
"I feel good," Garrett said. "I feel like I'm ready. I'm back to make a difference and change this game when I'm in it."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Los Angeles Chargers
Pro Bowl DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) and DT Taven Bryan (hamstring) were ruled questionable for the Chargers game but were both at practice Friday. Bryan, who suffered his injury in Week 3, returned to practice Wednesday, while Clowney practiced for the first time since he suffered his injury in Week 2.
Stefanski said the Browns will wait closer to kickoff Sunday before deciding on Clowney.
"(Clowney) got some work done today," Stefanski said. "I think we'll take that to Sunday and make a decision then."
All three defensive linemen missed last week's game against the Falcons, and their absences were felt on the defense as the Browns surrendered a season-high 202 yards on the ground and sacked QB Marcus Mariota only once.
Garrett and Clowney have combined for 4.5 of the Browns' eight total sacks this season. Garrett has three of them and is one sack away from breaking Clay Matthews' all-time franchise sack record (62). Taven Bryan had four tackles and one quarterback hit before his injury.
If the Browns are able to return all three defensive linemen, the defense should be in good shape to apply pressure against Chargers QB Justin Herbert, who leads the NFL with 1,250 passing yards.
"As far as what we want to do, we're trying to get after him," Garrett said. "We're trying to put him on the ground and take the ball away from him. He's had some ball security issues at times, so we'll try to take advantage of some of his weaknesses that we see on the backend, to make sure he doesn't have a clear path. We'll put our hands up and try to frustrate him."