CLEVELAND — Browns coach Hue Jackson said rookie defensive end Myles Garrett is “day-to-day” after being placed into the league’s concussion protocol.
Jackson said Garrett, the first-overall pick this past spring, arrived to the facility Tuesday morning and told staff he wasn’t feeling well. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to play in this weekend’s game against the Vikings in London.
“It came up a couple of days after, which is different,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Those things hit you like that. Sometimes you don’t know. You think you are catching a cold or something like that, you look up and you’re not feeling well and wow, here it is. That is just the way these things work sometimes.”
Jackson said he’s unsure if Garrett will make the flight to the United Kingdom but said he’s medically cleared to do so if need be. Jackson, of course, also hopes Garrett — who has collected four sacks in three career games — will be able to play.
“Some guys are going to get through these things faster than others,” he said. “We hope it is the other piece of it for us and for our football team and for Myles, so we will just see where we are.”
— DeShone Kizer said he isn’t going to hold back in his seventh NFL start. The rookie has been sent to the sidelines twice in the past three games but isn’t going to play scared.
“You don’t ever have to worry about me not bringing aggressiveness. That is who I am,” Kizer said Wednesday. “My instincts are always going to want to push the ball down the field, but also accepting that not putting the ball in harm’s way is the best thing for us. I think that in the first half, up until that last throw of the first half in the last game is exactly who I want to be as a quarterback.”
Jackson is looking for that version of Kizer against a tough Minnesota defense. Turnovers, Jackson has said multiple times, won’t be tolerated by any of the three quarterbacks the Browns have used under center this season, and it’s the top reason behind the multiple switches.
Kizer said he’s thankful for another opportunity many other quarterbacks might not get in the face of struggling with so many turnovers. “I have gone out there and I haven't really played to the best of my ability,” Kizer said. “I’m putting this team in some tough situations, yet I’m still provided another opportunity to go out and improve myself. It’s about doing whatever I can to have a complete game.”
— Several Browns defenders did not practice Wednesday, including defensive backs Jason McCourty (ankle) and Jabrill Peppers (toe) who missed Sunday’s game against the Titans. Also listed on Wednesday’s injury report were defensive linemen Garrett (concussion), Trevon Coley (neck) and Larry Ogunjobi (groin).
— Routine is paramount for the Browns as they prepare for a redeye flight over the Atlantic Ocean to London. As such, Jackson said the team chose to fly out Thursday night to “get the majority of our practice week done here in the comfort of our facilities, doing things that are normal for our players and not changing everything.”
Jackson stressed the importance of rest and sleep as players will need to adjust to a five-hour time difference. “I think what’s really important is how we handle the flight,” he said. “The research that we have gotten and the people I have talked to is that we need to get these players to sleep as fast as they can and really sleep through this process and rest. Not be up on the phone or looking at movies and all of that stuff. That you really need to get your rest and shut down because it's a huge time difference and a different environment and atmosphere once we get to London.”
— With Joe Thomas out for the year, the Browns will start second-year offensive lineman Spencer Drango in the 10-time Pro Bowler’s place. Jackson agreed it’s a tall order for Drango, who made nine starts at guard last season. “I think we all know those shoes won’t be filled. Let’s just be honest, that’s Joe Thomas we’re talking about. I think we all get that and respect that and we all wish Joe was here, but we also know that he is not right now,” he said.
“I think Spencer is going to go out there and compete. The one thing I want our guys to do is to play as hard and as well as they can. That is all I ask, and then we will let the rest take care of itself.”