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Peyton Hillis is guaranteed to play in the Cleveland Browns upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers considering he missed the team's victory over the Seattle Seahawks due to injury. That isn't a terribly huge blow as far as head coach Pat Shurmur is concerned, however, considering a solid performance put in by back-up Montario Hardesty on Sunday.
Shurmur was asked about Hardesty's situation going forward after Sunday's win, specifically regarding Hillis's return. Not surprisingly, Shurmur had good things to say about his back-up.
"Well he has no choice right now. He played like a starting running back and he battled. He wasn't perfect," Shurmur said during the post-game press conference. I'm sure he's going to be sore tomorrow, but yes, I think for the time being he's earned the right to carry the football and we're going to welcome Peyton back when he's healthy and hopefully we can keep building on that."
That probably isn't an answer Hillis was hoping for considering he's still looking for a new contract, but Hardesty's play does warrant him at least being somewhat involved in the team's offense.
During Sunday's 6-3 win over the Seahawks, the Browns lost two receiving targets to head injuries. Mohamed Massaquoi suffered a concussion near the end of the first half, when he was hit by Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner on an incomplete pass over the middle. As noted by David Fucillo, Massaquoi has been diagnosed with the concussion and will need to pass a myriad of tests before being cleared to practice, let alone play on Sunday. His playing time will go to Greg Little, who has been threatening to take his spot over the past few weeks anyway.
Massaquoi is no stranger to concussions, having suffered one in 2010 when he was hit helmet-to-helmet by Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was fined for the hit. He ended up missing the next game.
Tight end Benjamin Watson also suffered a concussion, reportedly in the first half as well, and it was reported at the beginning of the third quarter. Shawn Lauvao, the starting right guard on the team's offensive line, injured his right knee and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the damage.
In what may go down as the worst game of the weekend, if not the season, the Browns beat the Seahawks 6-3. It's fitting that the go-ahead points came off the foot of kicker Phil Dawson
Dawson made a 53-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and it was enough to keep the Browns ahead. Dawson hit a 52-yard field goal earlier in the game. It was the first time Dawson has connected on field goals of 50 yards or more in his career.
The veteran kicker could have had more points, but two of his field goals were blocked by Seahawks defensive lineman Red Bryant. Although Bryant was a sensation throughout the game, he ultimately sealed Seattle fate in the fourth quarter. With about a minute remaining, the Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was stopped on third down and had to punt to dangerous return man Leon Washington. But after the play, Bryant head-butted the Seahawks to a 2-4 record on the season.
It was the final ugly play of an overall ugly game. The leading receiver for the Browns was running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who was signed just last week. Running back Montario Hardesty had a career-high 95 yards rushing, but it came on 33 carries.
The game was won not only by the foot of Dawson, but the play of the Cleveland defense. Seattle was held to 137 yards of total offense. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed only 12 passes on 30 attempts for 97 yards.
The game between the Browns and Seahawks has been mind-numbing in how bad it has been. At least, though, we got this:
Serving and protecting drunks everywhere.
The Seahawks tied the game 3-3 in the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka. It capped off a drive that featured a 38-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Sidney Rice. It was the longest play of the game, and the first over 11 yards.
Overall, the ugliness of the first half continued into the third quarter.
On Seattle’s scoring drive, the team failed to score a touchdown after having first-and-goal ins the five-yard line.
The Seahawks had a punt return touchdown by Leon Washington that was called back after a block in the back. The next play, Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was intercepted by Sheldon Brown.
The Browns had a promising drive to start the third quarter that was stopped by a Colt McCoy interception throw. The pass, intended for tight end Evan Moore, was picked off by Seahawks middle linebacker David Hawthorne at the 12-yard line.
The Cleveland Browns will be without wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi after he suffered a head injury in the second quarter. Massaquoi had one reception for 15 yards in the first half.
The Browns are also without tight end Ben Watson, who suffered a head injury as well.
Neither the Cleveland Browns or the Seattle Seahawks managed to move the ball much in the first half.
A 52-yard field goal by Browns kicker Phil Dawon was the lone scoring play of the game, putting the team up 3-0. A 48-yard attempt by Dawson early in the second quarter was blocked by defensive tackle Red Bryant.
Neither quarterback in this game has managed to move their team down the field. Colt McCoy is nine of 18 for 87 yards for the Browns. His counterpart Charlie Whitehurst is six of 14 for 47 yards for the Seahawks.
The Browns running game also failed to provide much yardage in the second quarter. After carrying the ball seven times for 31 yards in the first quarter, Montario Hardesty ran the ball eight more times for just 12 yards in the second. He has 43 yards rushing at the half.
Running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who was signed by the Browns this week, has gotten a majority of the team’s snaps on third down. He’s the team’s leading receiver with three catches for 40 yards.
John Greco replaced starter Shawn Lauvao at guard for the Browns. Lauvao is out with a knee injury and his return is questionable. The Seahawks lost cornerback Walter Thurmond late in the second quarter. His status for the rest of the game has not be disclosed.
To simply call the first quarter of the Browns/Seahawks game ugly is a misnomer.
With six penalties, a bobbled punt, a fumbled snap and 84 totals yards between the two teams, this one could turn out to be a game for fans of defense.
The lone bright spot in the game has been the play of Browns second-year running back Montario Hardesty. He has seven carries for 31 yards. He even managed to hold onto a catch and took it for 11 yards. Going into the second quarter, the Browns are currently driving down the field.
The team started the game with three-and-out on their first two possessions. Amidst boos, McCoy is just two of six passing for 16 yards.
According to Fox Sports, Seahawks starting running back Marshawn Lynch was a late scratch in today’s game after injuring his back in pre-game warmpus.
He is being replaced by Leon Washington and Justin Forsett.
Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network is reporting that Cleveland Browns starting running back Peyton Hillis won’t play today against the Seattle Seahawks.
Hillis suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter last week against the Oakland Raiders.
The status of cornerback Joe Haden is still listed as questionable.
I asked the guys over at Pregame.com to give me their thoughts. Pregame.com is the largest sports betting news site compliant with U.S. law, and have been featured by ESPN, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of other national outlets. Pregame.com has agreed to provide us with exclusive insider analysis of how Las Vegas is looking at this week's Browns game.
Marco D’Angelo (Follow on twitter: @MarcoInVegas)
The Browns looked pretty sad last week in Oakland as the final score really didn't represent how that game really went. The scoreboard may have read that is was a 24-17 game but it was really far from that. The Browns scored a meaningless touchdown late when the Raiders were in Prevent mode. The Browns have now scored 17 or less in 4 of their 5 games. They have thrown the ball 106 times in the last 2 games. The Browns can't win if they keep throwing the ball this much. Where has the Browns running game gone as they have only run for 206 yards in the last 3 games. The Browns do have a few things going for them here. First they have a West Coast team traveling East to play a 1:00 game and that is always an advantage for the home team. I really don't like the fact that Seattle had a bye week after that huge win on the Road at the Giants 2 weeks ago. From a situational point it's hard to win back to back games on the road especially for a West Coast team playing on the East Coast. I see this as a low scoring game with Cleveland getting a 20-17 win.
Vegas Runner (Follow on twitter: @VegasRunner)
The Browns opened as 3 point home favorites and that is where the line sits today. But from what I've seen, it should come off that key number as we approach game-day. Initially the books were charging a 20 cent vig to lay -3 with the Browns but they are now charging bettors 20 cents to take +3 with the Seahawks. Since this has taken place early in the week, one has to conclude that the sharp money likes the dog in this game. Personally, I believe the value lies with the home team especially if books drop the price to -2.5 and it gets off that key number of 3, since 18% of NFL results land there. With the Seahawks having covered 3 straight games and the Browns having lost 3 straight against the spread, this appears like a case of "over-valued" vs "under-valued". The biggest reason beyond both teams ATS streak is the fact Seattle is coming into this game off a bye and prior to the week off, they beat the NY Giants on the road as 10 point dogs. Since recreational bettors have a tendency to over-react and almost always remember the last result they've seen, I believe the betting line is shaded in anticipation of that public money that should come in on the Seahawks. Since I believe the Browns are the better team and would be favored on a neutral field, getting them at -3 or less at home looks like the right side.
Bryan Leonard (Follow on twitter: @BLeonardSports)
Early start time for a west coast team traveling east is lessoned because of the off week for the Seahawks. Still Seattle is 4-15 ATS on the road the last few seasons even after winning outright at the Giants. Seattle entered the bye winning 2 of 3 with the lone loss coming by just two points against the Falcons. That said, still not believing in a Seahawk offense that had been held to 30 combined points the first three weeks. Cleveland has now lost two straight with their only victories on the season coming against the winless Colts and Dolphins. Still with road games on deck vs San Francisco and Houston this becomes a must win game for the host. Lean with Cleveland with the Under 42 likely being the better play.
Joe Gavazzi (visit at www.JoeGavazzi.com)
When last we left the Seahawks, they were returning a tipped pass the length of the field to secure a win against a NY Giant team that was driving for the winning score. Having 2 weeks to get fat after that victory is a bad omen for a poor traveling Seattle team. This team is just 3-9 ATS away under current HC Carroll and just 7-16 ATS L8+Y when visiting a team in an Eastern time zone. Their offensive woes will continue today as well traveled backup Charlie Whitehurst will probably get the nod to replace injured starter QB Jackson. He'll work behind an OL that has allowed a league high 20 sacks. Cleveland is just 1-6 ATS home MRT but behind the ever-improving QB McCoy and RB Hillis they can grind out a low scoring victory against a Seattle team that is in a very bad situation.
The Cleveland Browns have had little time to worry about other teams' injuries this past week, dealing with Peyton Hillis and his hamstring issue, as well as cornerback Joe Haden and his possible return to action following an injury of his own. But their opponents on Sunday have been dealing with a little quarterback controversy - or, rather, uncertainty as Pete Carroll put it - and injury concerns of their own. The Seattle Seahawks currently don't know who will be starting under center when they come into town to take on the Browns.
Carroll is adamant that it's not a controversy because it's injury-related, but Tarvaris Jackson may not be good to go with a pectoral injury. The fans, however, are singing a different tune. They've been clamoring for Charlie Whitehurst to get the start after his heroics against the New York Giants two weeks ago, and they're really not picky about how they get their wish. If it's because Carroll pulls Jackson, then fine - if it's because Jackson is hurt and Whitehurst gets the start in his place, that's equally fine.
Either way, Jackson remains questionable for Sunday's game against the Browns, and it will certainly be Whitehurst to take his spot if he can't go. The Browns need to prepare for both quarterbacks, but for the latter, there's really not a ton of film to go on, though Carroll has said he feels confident in him, for whatever that's worth.
Cleveland Browns' linebacker Scott Fujita, who suffered a head injury in last week's 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders, had to be sent home earlier this week from practice due to lingering problems. On Friday, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur officially ruled Fujita out for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. It was the only player that Shurmur would officially rule out, despite several others being hampered by injuries.
Here is the full injury report as of Friday evening via the Browns:
Scott Fujita, linebacker (head)
Joe Haden, defensive back (knee) - limited participant on Friday
Artis Hicks, offensive lineman (back) - limited participant on Friday
Peyton Hillis, running back (hamstring) - did not practice on Friday
Tony Pashos, offensive lineman (ankle) - limited participant on Friday
Buster Skrine, defensive back (hip) - limited participant on Friday
Ray Ventrone, defensive back (hamstring) - Did not practice on Friday
Titus Brown, linebacker (ankle) - full participant on Friday
Joshua Cribbs, wide receiver (knee) - full participant on Friday
Alex Mack, offensive lineman (illness) - full participant on Friday
Evan Moore, tight end (ankle) - full participant on Friday
One might think that without Peyton Hillis, the Browns are deficient of quality fantasy plays this week, but I don't think that's necessarily true -- Colt McCoy and Greg Little could have solid weeks, if you're willing to slip them into your starting lineups.
The Cleveland Browns final injury report of the week came out on Friday afternoon with few surprises for those who read the reports coming out of Friday morning's practice. Of note, though, are status updates for Peyton Hillis, Joe Haden and Scott Fujita regarding Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Hillis has been dealing with a hamstring injury as of late, even missing a portion of last week's game after originally tweaking it in the third quarter. The Browns' star running back didn't practice at all this week, but he's listed as questionable for this weekend's game and will probably end up being a game-time decision.
While Hillis at least has a chance to play, Fujita has been ruled out for this weekend's game. Fujita suffered a concussion against the Oakland Raiders and was sent home by Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur earlier in the week. The news on Haden is a bit better as he was able to participate in some of Friday's practice after being held out Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury.
We have no official gameday status for anybody, but Scott Petrak is reporting that Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden has returned to practice with the team. Coach Pat Shurmur is supposed to update their status following practice, but it's significant for Haden, the team's number one corner and former first-round pick. He hasn't practiced or played since Oct. 2 in a loss to the Tennessee Titans, but reportedly lined up with the first team and looked good doing it.
Also of note was the fact that star running back Peyton Hillis missed another practice with a hamstring injury. There's no updates on his status or if he got to doing the running in the pool on Thursday, and he'll likely remain questionable for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Scott Fujita also did not practice, after being sent home on Wednesday and Thursday with post-concussion symptoms (which simply means "with a concussion") and the deadline for him to pass his post-concussion exam is fast-approaching. According to the report, Art Hicks and rookie cornerback Buster Skrine also returned to practice, but Ray Ventrone missed his third straight day.
According to Cleveland.com, Browns running back Peyton Hillis will once again sit out practice on Thursday with a hamstring injury. On Wednesday, Hillis was supposed to do "something," which we now know was going to be some light running, but he wasn't ready. According to the report, Hillis is set to do some running in the pool on Thursday, and remains day-to-day in regards to his status for Sunday's matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
In a bit of good news, cornerback Joe Haden did some light running again on Thursday, and though his status hasn't been elevated and he has yet to do a full practice, head coach Pat Shurmur did say that his feeling was that Haden, along with fellow defensive back Buster Skrine, would play on Sunday.
Linebacker Scott Fujita was once again sent home due to his concussion symptoms, and now it appears that it might be more serious than previously though. We thought Fujita had injured himself in the fourth quarter when he left the game, but he might have done so in the first quarter and continued to play with the injury:
Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said he thinks Fujita suffered the concussion early in the Raiders game when he had some helmet-to-helmet contact. He remained in the game until the fourth quarter
That would seem to make it more unlikely that Fujita plays on Sunday. A concussion is bad enough, but more contact immediately after it for another two quarters can only make things worse. Fujita would need to pass a concussion test to make sure he's back at his normal baseline before being cleared to play.
With Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren facing his former team in the Seattle Seahawks this week there is bound to be some nostalgia. Holmgren took the Seahawks tot heir lone Super Bowl appearance after the 2005 season, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Holmgren recently spoke with the media about his time with Seattle and his current time as President of the Browns. During the interview he also mentioned how close he came to coaching the Browns when Eric Mangini was let go:
“And then we talked about it a little bit, and I asked them what do you guys think about at that? And they encouraged me to at least think about it. So I went home, thought about and talked to Kathy about it. And the next day I came back and said, ‘Look, I’m not going to do this. But I appreciate you suggesting that I do it.’ Basically it allowed me to think about it one more time.”
Holmgren later reiterated that he is done with coaching and that the does not see himself serving in his post in Cleveland for the next ten seasons.
AFC North dominates the picks this week as Steelers, Ravens and Browns all looking to cover as favorites
The Cleveland Browns find themselves in a precarious position with starting running back Peyton Hillis questionable after a hamstring injury and starting linebacker Scott Fujita sent home from practice with a concussion. For more on the injuries, the upcoming game against Seattle, and just the Browns in general, head on over to Dawgs By Nature.
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