OBJ is currently second on the team in receptions and tied for first in touchdowns scored with four. Three through the air and one on the ground with that amazing run back in Dallas. No matter what anyone thinks regarding the chemistry between Baker and OBJ, this is a big-time playmaker lost for the season. Who will need to step up in his absence?
Landry will elevate to the number one receiver on the roster. He is currently dealing with a cracked rib but is tough and a leader in that room. He was already leading the team in receptions but will be leaned on even more, the rest of the year. Landry is always up for a challenge so expect him to go harder and push the rest of the receiving room to do the same.
According to reports out there, Baker Mayfield talked Higgins into coming back to the Browns this season. Higgins then lost out on the third receiver job and was a healthy scratch twice this season. Through it all, Higgins showed professionalism and remained ready for his chance.
While not the way I am sure he wanted, it came yesterday, and he was ready. Higgins would make a spectacular catch in the final 1:06 of the game to put the Browns in field goal range. Baker had other ideas and won the game on a pass to Donavan Peoples-Jones. Higgins and Mayfield have chemistry that seems to work on the field. Could he breakout with OBJ on the sideline?
Hodge beat out Higgins and was the Browns’ third wideout through the first three games. Over that time, he caught nine passes for 144 yards with no touchdowns. Hodge injured his hamstring and was placed on injured reserve missing the last three games. He is eligible to come off IR this week and should be a help to the receiving depth.
The wildly talked about sixth-round pick out of Michigan finally made his presence felt. While he has been returning kicks for most of the season, Peoples-Jones had yet to make an impact play for the Browns. Yesterday, he did that in a big way with a 24-yard game-winning grab in the end zone. He will now have to move into an even bigger role if the Browns want to offset OBJ’s loss. Can he live up to the hype he never did in college?
The forgotten trade/player of the Dorsey era. Somehow Taylor has stayed on the roster and now might be that reason. While he may see limited action Taylor has shown ability in the past with the Titans. In 2018 he caught 37 passes for a 12.6 average and could be as good as adding any off the street free agent.
The tight ends become more valuable
The Browns front office invested heavily in the tight end group during the offseason and now may need to lean on them even more. Austin Hooper could be back as early as next week but without a doubt will be after the break. Harrison Bryant looks like he just had a breakout game with four catches and two touchdowns. David Njoku caught a laser for a touchdown against the Bengals but still has a lot hanging over his head. Replacing a talent like OBJ is nearly impossible, but the talent the Browns still have in place should be enough to keep this offense going.
Browns make practice squad move
The Browns also announced that they have signed Alex Taylor to the practice squad and have released Jalen Jelks.
Taylor is a 6-8 301 pound rookie offensive tackle out of South Carolina State, originally signed to the Browns as an undrafted free agent this offseason, and was waived from injured reserve during Week 2.
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