As the Browns settled into their week-long trip to Los Angeles and began preparation for Week 13 against the Rams, they reflected on their mistakes in their 29-12 loss to the Broncos. They know they have areas of their game that they need to clean up moving forward.
"With the game, you watch it afterwards and we just didn't do enough of those things that you have to do to win on the road. Way too sloppy with the football, having the ball on the ground five times, turning it over like we did," HC Kevin Stefanski said. "That's the thing that we really have to focus on moving forward is taking care of that rock. And then defensively, like we mentioned, they got some runs on us, which we will correct because those are things that will keep showing up until you stop them."
As we head into Week 13 when the Browns face the Rams in Los Angeles, let's look at some of the news and notes from Monday.
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Stefanski said following Sunday's game that Thompson-Robinson was in the concussion protocol following the hit he took late in the third quarter. On Monday, Stefanski they will continue to work through the protocol throughout the week and follow each of the steps.
WR Amari Cooper
Stefanski said after Sunday's game against the Broncos that the x-rays were negative on Cooper's rib injury. Stefanski said that he believes Cooper will be OK as he works through the injury this week.
DE Myles Garrett
Garrett left Sunday's game with his left arm in a sling. Garrett said that he felt a pop in his shoulder during the game but was not quite clear exactly when it occurred during the game.
However, Stefanski said on Monday that Garrett's shoulder is sore and is day-to-day. Stefanski confirmed that Garrett had scans done on his shoulder that revealed no structural issues.
"Feel good about where he'll be," Stefanski said.
DT Jordan Elliott
Elliott is dealing with an ankle injury and is day to day, but Stefanski said on Monday that he feels good about where Elliott is in terms of the injury.
Browns working through quarterback uncertainty
The Browns have dealt with uncertainty at starting quarterback for a large portion of the season, since QB Deshaun Watson first sustained a shoulder injury in Week 3. They are back in a similar situation as Thompson-Robinson goes through the steps of the concussion protocol.
Backup QB P.J. Walker finished the game in Week 12, completing 6 of 13 passes for 56 yards. He was also sacked four times and fumbled the ball twice – which the Broncos were able to recover one of the two fumbles.
The Browns also have Joe Flacco on their practice squad as another potential quarterback option if necessary. Flacco has been with the team for one week, but he has been spending extra time with the playbook and the coaches to get up to speed as quickly as possible.
Stefanski said that they will let the concussion protocol play out this week to evaluate how Thompson-Robinson is improving. They will use this week to work through how to approach their quarterback situation for Sunday's matchup against the Rams.
"We'll see where this week goes based on, obviously, Dorian's health," Stefanski said.
Presence of RB Nick Chubb with the team and visiting with QB Deshaun Watson
While the Browns will spend the week in L.A. preparing for their matchup against the Rams, they will also have an opportunity to spend time with their quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is rehabbing from his shoulder surgery in L.A.
"So, it works out well that we'll be able to see him, and he'll be able to be around the team and that's always important," Stefanski said. "You know a guy like Deshaun, I think it's always important for him."
Chubb is also working through his rehab with the team and is with the Browns on the trip.
"He gets to rehab with us, and that's part of his rehab process and it continues with us," Stefanski said. "But again, nice to have Nick around."
Thompson-Robinson's overall composure in first road game
Before Thompson-Robinson exited the game with the head injury, he had a high level of composure in his first career road start. He also threw his first career touchdown to TE Harrison Bryant for their only touchdown of the game.
Thompson-Robinson completed 14 of 29 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown. He also did not throw an interception, which he had done so in his previous two games this season.
"I think with any young player, you're always going to bring them along at a specific pace," Stefanski said. "I thought he did some really good things yesterday. Obviously, there's always things that you can clean up. There's different reads and footwork, whatever it may be, but he made a bunch of plays for us, so unfortunate to lose him due to injury."
Sunday's game was an important one for Thompson-Robinson in terms of leading the offense in a road game. While his teammates saw improvements from when he started against Pittsburgh, they noticed even more on Sunday against Denver.
"That second and third quarter, I believe he played some of the best football since I've been here," Walker said. "Even from practices to games, he has made some throws that I was like, s---. I was proud to see it, and I'm happy to see that he's continuing to grow every day and continuing to get better. And I love his competitiveness out there when he's out there playing as well."
Now, they have to navigate Thompson-Robinson's injury as he is dealing with the concussion.
"Just for DTR's [QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson] personal health is the first thing," G Joel Bitonio said. "They threw a flag on it; it was a hard hit. One of the harder hits I've seen in a while, so you hope he's okay. Then during the moment, you're just like all right, [QB] P.J.'s [Walker] in and it's really hard to think too far into the future. You're just you're just trying to get the next play going, but it sucks. I don't want to get those guys hit and I know he scrambled a little bit on that one, but you don't want to see a guy get picked up like that."