Need to Know: Browns won't rule Emmanuel Ogbah out just yet

Don't count Emmanuel Ogbah out just yet.

The third-year defensive end didn't practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury, but Browns coach Hue Jackson said the team isn't ready to rule Ogbah out of Sunday's game against the Saints in New Orleans. 

"We'll see how he practices during the week," Jackson said. "Lets just see where is and we'll go from there."

All in all, that's probably good news for the Browns, who initially believed Ogbah would miss some time. The former second-round pick sustained an ankle sprain of sorts on the final play of the first quarter in Sunday's tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He later returned but was limited throughout the contest, registering just 27 snaps. 

Ogbah, who's expected to play a key role on a defense that forced six turnovers last week, missed the final six games of 2017 because of a foot injury. 

— The Browns expect their offense to make a jump this weekend following a lackluster showing in the season opener. Cleveland's unit, to be sure, finished strong, rallying past a slow start and double-digit deficit to force overtime Sunday. But the performance, they maintain, wasn't good enough for a group that expects so much more of itself going forward. 

"When you look back at the film, which we did, there were things that we beat ourselves on. Hats off to a good defense," starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor said, "but there were some things that they did not necessarily take away from us, and there were things that we can clean up and get better at. I have all of the confidence in the world that we can do that moving forward." The Browns finished with 327 total yards, including just 98 at halftime. They found their footing after the break, scoring all 21 points after intermission.

— Like most of us, defensive end Chris Smith watched in awe as his younger counterpart, Myles Garrett, wreaked havoc against the Steelers, helping Cleveland overcome a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. "Amazing," he told reporters, laughing. "Like I said, big time players make big time plays in big time games, and we were down 21-7. Coach said we need someone to get the ball out, and next thing you know 'Boom!'" Garrett, the first-overall pick in 2017, finished with two sacks, two forced fumbles, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup. 

— What wasn't as impressive was the Browns' run defense, which surrendered 135 yards and two touchdowns to second-year back James Conner. Linebacker Joe Schobert, however, said the group is sweating that performance too much. "I think the biggest thing – like we preach in the offseason – leading the NFL in run (defense) obviously is good," he said, "but you need to lead the NFL in pass defense and being able to take the ball away." Indeed, Cleveland's defense was lights out in the latter category, forcing six takewaays (including three interceptions) Sunday. 

— The Browns allowed seven sacks against the Steelers, something they want to clean up heading into New Orleans this weekend. Though Jackson has routinely described the dynamic as a unit issue involving multiple moving parts, Cleveland's offensive line knows it needs to keep Taylor clean in the pocket. "All I know is that we can be a lot better and we're going to get a lot better," right guard Kevin Zeitler said. "Moving onto the Saints this week will really give us another good test right away."

Related Content

Advertising