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Injury co-mingled with insult when Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita broke his right hand in a 23-20 loss to the division rival Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on Sunday. Instead of moving within a game of their in-state foe, the Browns fell to 4-7 while the Bengals moved to 7-4.
And the hits keep coming. Now Scott Fujita is tabbed to have surgery this week on his broken right hand, and it is possible that he will miss the remainder of the season.
Coach Pat Shurmur has indicated that Chris Gocong will now move to strong-side linebacker and Kaluka Maiava will fill in for Gocong at weak-side linebacker, but fellow linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said Fujita's absence will be a difficult one to overcome.
"It’s huge," Jackson said. "He’s a veteran guy who controls his side of the defense. We work well together out there, but we have to move forward. We’re not gonna be able to replace him but we’ve got guys that are capable of making plays. That’s a part of the game. Guys get hurt, especially in our room.
"It’s a big loss for us You can’t replace him. He makes a ton of plays. He helps me out. We see things. We have the luxury of changing some things if we see it. I’ve got to step up my preparation a bit. Everyone has to step up a little bit better, so we can try to move forward and not see a major drop off."
Fujita, in the middle of a 3-year, $14 million contract with the Browns, has recorded 51 tackles along with an interception this season.
Cleveland Browns tight end Benjamin Watson was not a major factor in the Cleveland offensive attack during the Browns 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Fantasy football players relying on Watson were surely betting on the tight end to score a touchdown as opposed to putting up big yardage numbers.
Watson finished the game with just two receptions for 14 yards and no touchdowns. These numbers came in just under the modest Numberfire.com projection for this week's game which had Watson catching 2.25 passes for 26.42 yards and 0.2 touchdowns.
Anyone fortunate enough to see that projection from Numberfire likely stayed away from Watson this week as the big fella underperformed from a Fantasy standpoint. Quarterback Colt McCoy only completed 16 passes on the day, so Watson remains a target when McCoy is on target.
Things won't get any easier for the Cleveland offense as they host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday. With only two touchdown receptions on the season, Watson will continue to try to find the end zone next week, ground he hasn't touched with the ball since the loss to Tennessee on October 2nd.
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t lead the Cleveland Browns until the final minute of the game, but it was all the time they needed for the win.
Bengals kicker Mike Nugent connected on a go-ahead 26-yard field goal to make the score 23-20 in the final minute of the game. Nugent’s field goal opportunity was set up largely thanks to a 51-yard reception by rookie wide receiver A.J. Green n third down with less than a minute remaining.
Browns kicker Phil Dawson missed a 55-yard field goal on the previous drive. Ryan Pontbriand, the team’s Pro Bowl long snapper, skimmed the ground with the snap throwing off Dawson’s timing and the kick sailed wide left.
The Browns led much of the game but couldn’t execute at key moments in the second half. Rookie wide receiver Greg Little had several drops on the game, returning running back Peyton Hillis failed to break any big runs and a fourth quarter interception by quarterback Colt McCoy proved costly.
The loss drops the Browns to 4-7 on the season and the Bengals improved to 7-4.
A 40-yard field goal by Bengals kicker Mike Nugent tied the game with the Browns at 20-20 with 10:57 left in the game.
The Bengals got the ball back on the first play of the fourth quarter when safety Reggie Nelson intercepted a Colt McCoy pass. The interception set up quick drive for the Bengals that was stopped by the Browns following an incomplete pass by quarterback Andy Dalton.
A fast-paced Bengals offense led to a 22-yard touchdown from quarterback Andy Dalton to tight end Jermaine Greshman near the end of the third quarter. The score helped lower Cleveland’s lead over to Cincinnati to 20-17 heading into the final quarter.
Gresham and Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green beat Browns defensive backs on consecutive plays for big gains to close out the drive. Dalton is now 15-of-18 for 197 yards passing and the touchdown.
The Browns have had extra defenders in the box to stop running back Cedric Benson, who has 95 yards on 16 carries today.
Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims had to be helped off the field during the Browns’ ensuing drive. Sims had his left leg rolled up on by Browns guard Shawn Lauvao.
An incredible 54-yard field goal from Phil Dawson extended the Browns’ lead over the Bengals to 20-10.
Dawson’s field goal capped off a Browns drive that was highlighted by a 20-yard run by quarterback Colt McCoy on third-and-long.
The field goal was Dawson’s second of the game and his seventh of 50 yards or more. He leads the NFL in field goals of 50 yards or longer. Dawson needs only more of field goal of 50 yards or more to tie an NFL record.
Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Greg Little scored the first touchdown of his NFL career in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Observe:
Little was so happy he held onto the ball the rest of the half and carried it into the locker room.
It's been the highlight of an otherwise frustrating day for Little. He's dropped four passes at this point.
A 23-yard field goal from Mike Nugent brought the Bengals within a touchdown of the Browns, making the score 17-10.
A mix of runs and passes confounded a Browns defense on the Bengals’ second scoring drive of the game. On the drive, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 45 yards, missing only a throw to the end zone to wide receiver A.J. Green.
On the drive, Browns cornerback Dimitri Patterson was rolled up on by tackle Phil Taylor and his return is unknown. Linebacker Kaluka Maiava also suffered a knee injury on the drive and his return is questionable.
A three-yard touchdown pass from Colt McCoy to Greg Little helped give the Browns a 17-7 lead going into the half.
Advantageous field position made it an easy drive for the Browns. Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard registered a strip sack on Andy Dalton, giving the Browns good field position. The turnover gave the Browns the ball on the Cincinnati 14-yard line.
The touchdown was Little’s first of his career.
in his first game in six weeks, Browns running back Peyton Hillis has run the ball 10 times for 42 yards. Five of his carries have gone for first downs.
Browns quarterback Colt McCoy is 8-of-18 passing for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Jordan Norwood in the first quarter on a 24-yard touchdown.
McCoy’s counterpart Andy Dalton is 8-of-10 for 87 yards in the first half.
The Bengals will get the ball to start the third quarter.
Phil Dawson, probably the Browns MVP at this point, connected on a 32-yard field goal to give the Browns the lead against the Bengals 10-7.
Dawson now has 16 field goals on the season. The Browns drive stalled after it was ruled that a Mohamed Massaquoi catch hit the ground.
Rookie wide receiver was one of the key players on the Browns’ scoring drive. Early in the drive, Little took a pitch for a 13-yard run. Little also ran an nice out route to the left sideline to catch a 15-yard pass.
The Browns running offense has been slow to get to form against the Bengals with the return of Peyton Hillis. The two teams are tied at 7-7 after the first quarter partly because of the Browns’ inability to run the ball.
Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who ran for more than 100 yards last week, had just one carry in the first quarter. He took it for 11 yards. The returning Hillis has just 13 yards on five carries.
For the quarter, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy has completed three of six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. A third-down scramble by McCoy on the team’s second drive came up just shy of a first down giving the Bengals the ball back with good field position.
Using the short field, the Bengals used a heavy dose of running back Cedric Benson to tie the game at 7-7. Benson has 64 yards on just nine carries in the first quarter. He’s touched the ball on 11 of Cincinnati’s 16 plays.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been efficient, completing five of six passes for 65 yards. He connected on a 24-yard pass to fellow rookie A.J. Green to help set up Benson’s 16-yard touchdown run.
On the Bengals’ first drive, the Browns held strong stopping Bengals running back Cedric Benson on fourth-and-goal. The Bengals chose to go for it on fourth after quarterback Andy Dalton came up short on a third-dwn run. The Browns are getting pretty good at goal-line defense. The team stopped the Jaguars at the goal last week to close off a win.
Thus far, the Browns haven’t been able to stop the Bengals’ Cedric Benson. The veteran running back scored on a 16-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.
Benson has 64 yards on just nine carries in the first quarter.
In the first game of the season, Benson ran for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Browns.
For the first time since Week 16 of last season the Cleveland Browns have scored a first quarter touchdown.
Quarterback Colt McCoy connected with wide receiver Jordan Norwood on a 24-yard touchdown pass. It was Norwood’s second impressive catch of the drive. After Bengals cornerback Nate Clements fell down, Norwood caught a 36-yard pass down the right sideline.
McCoy spent much of the drive in the shotgun where he is more comfortable. The Browns handed the ball off to the returning Peyton Hillis three times for six yards.
Although it was reported earlier this morning that Montario Hardesty and Peyton Hillis are active, apparently Hardesty tweaked his calf during warmups, so according to Chris Mortensen, that means a little more work for Peyton Hillis and Chris Ogbonnaya will likely see more carries, too. Hardesty will stay play according to the Official Browns Twitter:
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis must have passed his pre-game inspection because the bruising running back will be active for the Browns today. Hillis has been out the past five weeks with a hamstring injury, but is ready to help carry the load today for the Browns.
For Cincinnati, the inactive list is also missing an offensive playmaker as rookie wide receiver A.J. Green is expected back on the field in a starting role today for the Bengals. Green injured his knee against the Pittsburgh Steelers which kept him out of last week's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Browns inactive players as reported by Cleveland:
#Browns inactives for today's game: QB T. Lewis, DB T. Ward, FB O. Marecic, OL S. Vallos & O. Cousins, LB Q. Spears and DL J. Mitchell.
Bengals inactive players as reported by Cincinnati:
#Bengals inactives: DE C. Dunlap; TE D. Lee; G C. Boling; S R. Sands; WR R. Whalen; LB D. Moch; T A. Collins
The Cleveland Browns are coming off a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and hope to get back into the thick of things in a competitive AFC North division. They're making the short trip to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, who are coming off a divisional loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland started the season out strong, but a stagnant offense led by quarterback Colt McCoy and without running back Peyton Hillis has overshadowed a coming out season for a strong pass defense.
Cleveland sits at 4-6 after starting the season strong and face three straight games against the AFC North, starting with Cincinnati, who is 6-4 and third in the division. The Baltimore Ravens are on top, after a win over the San Francisco 49ers, at 8-3. Cleveland would gain a lot of ground by stopping rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and rookie receiver A.J. Green, who is listed as probable for the game.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 27, 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV Schedule: CBS (TV Distribution Map)
TV Announcers: Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
With rookie wide receiver A.J. Green back at practice, there are no major injury concerns for the Bengals this week against the Browns. Back up defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who has played in every game this season up to this point, is doubtful for Sunday with a hamstring injury, but beyond him, the team is relatively healthy.
Here is the full Cincinnati Bengals injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: defensive end Carlos Dunlap (hamstring, doubtful), linebacker Dontay Moch (not injury-related, probable).
LIMITED PARTICIPANTS: tight end Donald Lee (foot, doubtful), defensive end Michael Johnson (shoulder, probable), cornerback Adam Jones (groin, probable), defensive tackle Domata Peko (foot, probable), linebacker Vincent Rey (hamstring, probable).
FULL PARTICIPANTS: Nate Clements (knee, probable), safety Chris Crocker (knee, probable), quarterback Andy Dalton (right shoulder, probable), cornerback Brandon Ghee (groin, probable), wide receiver A.J. Green (knee, probable), tackle Andrew Whitworth (thigh, probable),
"I'm looking very positive for this game and hopefully everything will work out and I'm praying that it will," Hillis said. "We don't want to push it too fast but we're all shooting for this Sunday. I'm excited I feel 100 percent again."
Here is the full Cleveland Browns injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: linebacker Quinton Spears (hamstring, out), safety T.J. Ward (foot, out), running back Owen Marecic (head, questionable), defensive end Jayme Mitchell (ankle, questionable), tackle Tony Pashos (ankle, questionable)
FULL PARTICIPANTS: linebacker Auston English (knee, probable), guard Shawn Lauvao (knee, probable), quarterback Colt McCoy (right shoulder, probable), defensive end Jabaal Sheard (thigh, probable), defensive end Emmanual Stephens (foot, probable), tight end Benjamin Watson (elbow, probable).
For more on the Browns, visit SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature
The Cleveland Browns are already announced that they will be without safety T.J Ward and running back Peyton Hillis. The Browns also had starting fullback Owen Marecic and backup linebacker Quinton Spears did not practice on Wednesday. Marecic sat out due to a head injury he sustained against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Spears is out with a hamstring injury. Both of those players are questionable.
The Browns also had a host of other players who were limited in Wednesday's practice.
|RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring)||DNP|
|FB Owen Marecic (head)||DNP|
|LB Quinton Spears (hamstring)||DNP|
|SS T.J. Ward (foot)||DNP|
|RB Montario Hardesty (calf)||LP|
|OL Tony Pashos (ankle)||LP|
|DE Austin English (knee)||FP|
|QB Colt McCoy (shoudler)||FP|
|DE Jabaal Sheard (thigh)||FP|
|TE Benjamin Watson (elbow)||FP|
The Cincinnati Bengals are a banged up team and had many players limited or did not practice on Wednesday. The positive news for the Bengals is that rookie wide receiver A.J. Green returned to practice after sitting out the Ravens game due to a knee injury. A surprise on the Bengals injury report was quarterback Andy Dalton who was limited in practice with a shoulder injury, but it does not seem serious.
Carlos Dunlap did not participate in practice after practicing on a limited basis all of last week and played some in last weeks game against the Ravens and his status for Sunday is up in the air.
|TE Donald Lee (foot)||LP|
|CB Adam Jones (groin)||LP|
|DE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring)||DNP|
|OT Andrew Whitworth (thigh)||LP|
|DT Domata Peko (foot)||DNP|
|QB Andy Dalton (shoulder)||LP|
|CB Nate Clements (knee)||DNP|
|CB Brandon Ghee (goin)||DNP|
|WR A.J. Green (knee)||LP|
|DE Michael Johnson (shoulder)||LP|
The Cleveland Browns will play their in-state rivals this weekend, having to make a pretty short road-trip for their game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns will likely have to make the trip without starting running back Peyton Hillis in the gameplan, however, as he wasn't able to participate in Wednesday's practice according to the latest injury report.
Hillis has missed several weeks with a hamstring injury and, according to the reports earlier this week, he'll miss yet another game this week. Defensive back T.J. Ward, Quinton Spears and Owen Marecic all sat out of Wednesday's practice as well.
Backup running back Montario Hardesty looks like he might be able to return to action this week, however, as he was able to go through a limited practice on Wednesday. Hardesty has been dealing with a hamstring injury that's kept him out of the team's last two games. Offensive lineman Tony Pashos was the only other player to miss Wednesday's practice, though he was able to take some of his usual reps.
Another Monday, and another bit of bad news for the Cleveland Browns. In talking with the media on Monday, following the team's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur said that running back Peyton Hillis would, once again, be out. Hillis has been announced the past two Mondays as being out, so it's unlikely he'll even be able to practice this week.
Hillis has had a hamstring injury for some time, and twice tried to practice, which only led to him re-injuring it. At one point, he had practiced on a Thursday and looked good to go, but experienced tightness and was quickly declared out. Knowing this early can only mean that the injury is still being felt and testing it isn't yet an option.
Shurmur also announced that safety T.J. Ward is out. Ward has been wearing a cast/boot and missed the last couple games with a foot sprain. There's no timetable on his return yet - nor for Hillis, but Shurmur has expressed that he doesn't want either of the players placed on injured reserve.
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