Hue Jackson has liked what he's seen this week from a Browns wide receivers room that's experienced a wave of turnover and adversity in recent weeks.
In the week before the start of the season, Cleveland acquired three new receivers via trade and waiver claims. This past week against Baltimore, former first-round pick Corey Coleman, who had a promising performance in the season opener, went down with a broken hand that will keep him out for a minimum of eight weeks.
Rashard Higgins, who was promoted from the practice squad one day before the Ravens game, stepped up in a big way with seven catches for 95 yards. Jackson wants to see similar responses from the rest of the group in the coming weeks.
"I think the guys have all rallied to a man," Jackson said. "From Kenny Britt all the way to Kasen (Williams) and the rest of the guys and Jordan (Leslie) being back here and Rashard and Ricardo (Louis). They understand there is a job we have to get done and so, I think they went out to practice with (senior offensive assistant) Coach (Al) Saunders and have done a really good job.
"Part of this is knowing what to do, being accountable, being in the right spot at the right time, so we have some guys and that is what we worked through this week and they have done a good job thus far."
Jackson said he's personally challenged each and every member of the group, which expanded with a familiar face earlier this week with the return of Leslie to the practice squad. Leslie, who led the team in receiving during the preseason, would need to be promoted before Sunday's game to have an impact this week but, in the meantime, provides Jackson with another option at his disposal as he assesses how to use Higgins, Britt, Louis, Williams and Reggie Davis, who has been inactive the first two games. Sammie Coates, who saw his playing time expand in last week's game, has not practiced this week because of a hamstring injury.
Britt, the veteran of the group who has two catches through the first two weeks, said he's embracing the challenge laid out to him from Jackson.
"0-2 is not where we wanted to be, and it is not where we are going to stay," Britt said. "As long as we do the right things and do the small things that we have been missing the last two games, I believe that we can be contending in this league.
"We all need to come together to pick up the slack because we know how important (Coleman) is to this offense and to this receiver room. We all just have to band together and be operating as one unit."
-- Myles Garrett was officially a non-participant at Thursday's practice but the Browns are "closer to him having a chance to be out there than not being out there," Jackson said.
Jackson has yet to declare the rookie defensive end as out for Sunday's game but stressed the team was going to be "smart" and not rush him back until he's completely healthy.
"I think we are getting closer," Jackson said. "We will see where we are as we get toward the end of the week, but again, our medical team has done a really good job of working through it. He has done everything he can do and then some trying to make sure that he can hurry up and get back because he wants to be out there with his teammates."
-- Linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. (concussion) didn't practice for a second consecutive day. If he's not able to participate in Friday's walk-through, he'd likely be ruled out for Sunday's game.
Collins, who signed a four-year contract extension this past offseason, has 11 tackles in the Browns' first two games.
-- The Browns simply don't have much film on Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who made his first start with the Colts last week. The second-year player was acquired shortly before the season in a trade with New England, where he started twice as a rookie.
Veteran defensive back Jason McCourty has a close connection to some Brissett intel, but he's not exactly cooperating. McCourty's twin brother, Devin, got close with Brissett during their time together with the Patriots.
"We're not as close as we used to be, I guess," McCourty said with a laugh. "I texted him and he told me a few things but he said, 'that's my guy' so I guess he's rooting for him as much as he's rooting for me."