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News & Notes: Dustin Colquitt jumped at the opportunity to help Browns

Colquitt made it to Cleveland in a hurry Thursday and is ready to start another chapter in his 17-year career Sunday against the Ravens 

Dustin Colquitt didn't know he'd be spending his Friday at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus until roughly 24 hours before he was standing at an interview podium with a Browns compression shirt, shorts and hat.

Colquitt, a 17-year punting veteran, was at his home in Kansas City on Thursday when he received a call and an offer from the Browns, who needed a skilled punter — and a player capable of holding the ball on field goals and extra points — after they placed Jamie Gillan on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. 

Gillan was ruled out by head coach Kevin Stefanski on Friday, which is why Colquitt quickly packed a bag and zipped over to Cleveland.

"I just had to throw stuff in two bags and go," Colquitt said with a smile. "As long as I'm getting calls, I want to play. My body feels good and my mind is still sharp and into it. As long as I'm helping on the field, I want to do it."

Colquitt is a familiar name in Cleveland after his brother, Britton, was with the Browns from 2016-2018. Dustin said he's been in touch with his brother throughout the last day as he familiarizes himself with his new team, and he said he's already had people confuse him with his brother as he walks around the facility.

He's been in touch with one other former Browns specialist, too: Phil Dawson. Colquitt is a friend of Dawson, who spent the first 14 years of a 20-year career in Cleveland, and reached out to Dawson once he signed with the team. 

No conversation about kicking footballs in the cold elements was needed, though. Dawson excelled at that throughout his Browns career, but Colquitt has plenty of experience doing that from his 15 seasons in Kansas City, too, and even recalled games where he played in Cleveland when the weather was less than ideal for punting a football.

"We played here in 2005, my rookie year, and it was windy, cold and just white everywhere," he said. "The stadium was packed, and I was like, 'This is football.'"

Colquitt, who is on his second team this season and sixth team in the last two years, admitted he wasn't sure how many games he'd be able to spend in Cleveland, but he still wanted to be as prepared as possible for Sunday's game against the Ravens. He's fully aware of what the stakes mean for the Browns, who are 6-6 and likely need to finish the season on a long win streak to crack the playoffs. 

But it's a challenge Colquitt is willing to assist in however he can.

"We just have to keep pounding," Colquitt said. "I'm excited to be a part of that."

Phillips 'blessed' to be back early

Second-year LB Jacob Phillips didn't expect to be able to return to practice until January after he suffered a torn biceps back in training camp, but he was able to return to practice this week after the Browns designated him to return from injured reserve.

"I'm just blessed," said Phillips, a 2020 third-round pick. "I did heal fast, and every day I went in and worked as hard as I could, hoping that, in the end, I'll catch a couple of games."

He'll be able to catch more than a couple if his rehab plan stays on track. The Browns have five games left in the regular season and would be thrilled to use Phillips in all of them if he's ready. 

His first test could come Sunday, but Phillips said the decision will be up to the coaches on whether he'll play.

"I know they want to take it slow," he said. "They wanted to see me in practice, get back-to-back days and see how my body felt after those days. I wasn't rushing, but I came back earlier than assumed."

Stefanski preaches trust in Forristall

In addition to ruling out LB Anthony Walker Jr. and Gillan — both of whom are on the Reserve/COVID-19 list — for Sunday, Stefanski also ruled out TE David Njoku, who's also on the list.

That means TE Miller Forristall, a rookie from Alabama, could be in for a sizable role in what would be his NFL debut. Forristall is 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds and has been on the Browns' practice squad since September, which has allowed Stefanski to see plenty of reps and feel confident in Forristall stepping in when needed.

"He's somebody who we trust," Stefanski said. "He's done a nice job in practice. He knows what to do. Then we have to find the right personnel groupings and put guys in position, but ultimately how it all shakes out in terms of personnel, we will see by Sunday."

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