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Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon is outplaying the other wide receivers of his draft class so far in 2012.
The Cleveland Browns remain in the bottom five of teams in the NFL in the Week 8 power rankings.
With star running back Trent Richardson ailing, the Browns aired it out against the Colts.
With Jimmy Haslam watching intently from the owner's box, the Browns fail to capitalize on opportunities to pick up their second win.
Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin aggravated a calf injury against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, which forced him to leave the game. The injury occurred in the first half, and Rubin did not play another snap. Rubin has been bothered by the calf injury for several weeks, and he was forced to sit out Cleveland's game against Cincinnati in Week 6. He was able to return to practice last Wednesday, and despite being listed as questionable heading into the weekend, he gave it a go against Indianapolis.
At one point Sunday, it appeared as though running back Trent Richardson was benched after aggravating an injury to his ribs. But head coach Pat Shurmur made it clear after the game that Richardson was benched because the lingering injury was clearly affecting his play, and not because he'd re-injured his ribs. Richardson was also listed as questionable heading into Sunday's game.
The statuses of Rubin and Richardson for next week are unknown.
Whether it was a dropped pass, a missed extra point or something of the sort, the Cleveland Browns could not overcome their own miscues Sunday as they lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 17-13
Brandon Weeden and the Browns had opportunities to pick up their second straight win, but some costly mistakes led to a 17-13 victory.
The Indianapolis Colts took advantage of the Cleveland Browns' lack of a running game to play ball control and win 17-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.
Winning the time of possession by nearly 11 minutes, the Colts rode a mistake-free performance by Andrew Luck, who completed 16-of-29 passes for 186 yards to go with two rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Browns got solid play from Brandon Weeden and his 247-yard, two touchdown performance, but they could only muster 55 yards on the ground as Trent Richardson only played one unproductive half due to a rib injury.
Vick Ballard led the Colts with 84 yards on 20 carries, while Reggie Wayne caught six balls for 73 yards on the day.
The Colts (3-3) started off the scoring on Sunday with a prolonged drive that ate more than 7:30 off the clock as Luck finished it off with a 3-yard scramble for a 7-0 lead. Cleveland responded with an even longer drive, scoring with 14:07 left in the second quarter on a Weeden pass to Greg Little for a 14-yard touchdown. The Browns botched the extra point try to trail 7-6.
Indianapolis then used its next offensive possession to score on Luck's second touchdown run of the game to go ahead 14-6 heading into halftime.
The Browns used an 80-yard drive to start off the third quarter as Weeden completed all four of his throws for 80 yards and capped a scoring drive with a 33-yard pass to Josh Gordon that cut the Colts lead to 14-13.
Both defenses tightened up, but Indianapolis added a 38-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to go ahead 17-13 with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
With seven minutes left in the game, Browns receiver Josh Gordon dropped a deep pass on a 3rd-and-1 near the goal line that would have given Cleveland the go-ahead touchdown, and Indianapolis managed the game clock to drop the Browns' record to 1-6 on the year.
Fantasy dud: Josh Gordon was targeted 10 times but only came up with two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. His dropped pass could have given him another touchdown and the Browns a victory.
Odds: The Colts were favored by 3.5 points in Vegas when the lines opened, and that total was only at one point by Sunday.
Injury update: Trent Richardson had eight carries in the first half for only eight yards, and he was seen on the sideline with his helmet off in the second half. He had come into the game with a rib injury and was questionable to return in the second half.
Cleveland cornerback Sheldon Brown injured his ankle in the third quarter but returned.
This story originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Nursing a rib injury entering Sunday's game has hampered the Browns' leading rusher.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden found Josh Gordon for a 33-yard touchdown pass on the first touch for the Browns' offense, and just three minutes into the second half, Cleveland had cut the Indianapolis lead to 14-13. Weeden went 4-for-4 on the drive for all 80 yards as the run game continued to produce little.
After three quarters, Cleveland has only rolled up 34 rush yards. Rookie running back Trent Richardson has not come onto the field in the second half after rushing eight times for eight carries in the first. He was on the sidelines with his helmet off, but was playing with a hurt rib.
Indianapolis pushed the lead to 17-13 with Adam Vinatieri's 38-yard field goal with 3:24 to play in the third quarter.
The Colts are beginning to extend the time of possession difference because of the Browns' inability in the run game. Going into the fourth, they have had the ball for eight more minutes than Cleveland.
Three combined touchdown drives of more than six minutes each have given the Colts the lead. Indianapolis has put up 197 yards of offense to 148 by the Browns, as the two teams have put their rookie quarterbacks in good position to produce without miscues. Andrew Luck has completed 10-of-18 passes for 137 yards, and he also has two rushing touchdowns. Brandon Weeden has been solid, completing 13-of-20 passes for 114 yards.
The teams have been efficient on third down, as Cleveland went 6-for-8 while Indianapolis went 5-for-7 on such conversions.
But Cleveland's run game has been squelched by Indianapolis. Weeden leads the team with 13 rushing yards on one carry, and Trent Richardson has produced just 8 yards on as many carries.
The Browns answered the Colts' first score of the game with a drive of 8:22 that was finished off with Weeden finding Greg Little for a 14-yard pass in the first minute of the second quarter. Cleveland botched the extra point and trailed 7-6.
Indianapolis used another long drive of more than six minutes to score a touchdown with 7:47 left in the first half. Luck scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a 5-yard run.
The teams traded punts, but Cleveland couldn't put together a score to end the half.
The Indianapolis Colts lead the Cleveland Browns, 7-0, after the first quarter thanks to a methodical first drive. The Browns have their own long drive going and enter the second quarter with the ball on the Colts' 1-yard line.
The Colts marched down the field on an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with a balanced attack. Rookie Andrew Luck completed all four of his passes for 67 yards and running back Vick Ballard took five carries for 18 yards before Luck punched it into the end zone with a 3-yard scramble.
The drive took nearly half of the quarter.
Cleveland responded with a drive that ate up the rest of the time in the first quarter. Brandon Weeden led the Browns to the Indianapolis 1-yard line by going 5-of-7 passing for 55 yards. Josh Cooper leads the Browns with two receptions for 21 yards.
The two teams have combined for 11 first downs and are 5-of-5 on third-down conversions.
Cleveland Browns tight end Alex Smith is back on the inactive list for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, despite playing last week and practicing all week. Smith had missed three games with a concussion, but Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that Smith wasn't on the injury report prior to being added to this week's inactive list.
Other inactive Browns are: wide receiver Mohammed Massaquoi, defensive back Dimitri Patterson, running back Brandon Jackson, safety Tashaun Gipson, offensive lineman Jason Pinkston and linebacker Scott Fujita.
Colts running back Donald Brown and defensive linemen Robert Mathis and Cory Redding are among the team's notable inactives. Also on Sunday's inactive list are defensive linemen Fili Moala and Martin Tevaseu, defensive back Darius Butler and offensive lineman Joe Reitz.
The Browns are 1-5 on the season, looking for their second straight win. Indianapolis comes into the game with a 2-3 record. The game features two rookies starting at quarterback: Andrew Luck of the Colts and Brandon Weeden of the Browns.
The battle of two rookie quarterbacks is expected to be very even as the Colts are only one-point favorites over the Browns.
Mohamed Massaquoi was emerging as rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's top target, but he's been out since a Week 3 loss to the Buffalo Bills with a hamstring injury. According to Browns media relations man Dan Murphy on Twitter, the veteran wide receiver will miss another game, as he's been downgraded to "out" for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
There was initially some hope that Massaquoi would be able to play, after he returned to practice on Wednesday, but he either suffered a setback or simply isn't quite ready to get back in the lineup. Fellow wide receiver Travis Benjamin also returned to practice from his hamstring injury, and he's expected to be available for the game.
Benjamin had earned himself some playing time, but it's likely he'll be behind fellow rookie Josh Gordon on Sunday, given the strong play from the latter. Gordon has been emerging as a deep threat in the still-developing Browns offense, and has earned himself some more playing time regardless of the injury status for Massaquoi and Benjamin.
Cleveland Browns starting left guard Jason Pinkston will miss Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts with a blood clot. Pinkston is currently hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic, and it is unclear when he will be able to return to action:
"As we go through next week, we'll determine if he's going to miss an extended period of time,'' said coach Pat Shurmur.
Pinkston had been suffering symptoms for weeks, and he was forced out of last Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The second-year player out of Pittsburgh was limited in practice Wednesday, and he couldn't participate on Thursday. He checked into the Cleveland Clinic, where the blood clot was discovered.
Wide receiver Greg Little, who was sent home Thursday morning with the flu, returned Friday and should be able to play Sunday against the Colts. Running back Trent Richardson was limited in practice Friday and wore a flack jacket to protect the damaged cartilage in his ribs. He hopes to play Sunday, but the Browns may be cautious with their rookie first-round pick.
The Browns have a new owner and a new CEO, putting the job status of Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur in doubt. Ryan Alton addresses what all the changes might mean for the organization's top football men.
When the Cleveland Browns selected Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon in this year's supplemental draft, Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress had no idea who the guy was. Everybody else who was asking that same question is likely singing a different tune now, as Gordon has emerged as a big-play guy in the Browns' offense.
The past two weeks, Gordon has caught only five passes, but those catches have gone for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns have been of the huge play variety. Last weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals Gordon hauled in a 71-yard score, and the week before against the New York Giants he snagged a 62-yarder.
Thanks to Gordon's breakout games, he will likely be seeing plenty of attention from the Indianapolis Colts this weekend, especially because fellow wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin are hurting (via The News-Herald):
"I think they'll be mindful of where he's at, whether he's in the slot, or whether he's outside," Childress said. "Those guys kind of check and see who's taking the top off, and who can run. They can see somebody can run now. That's a good thing. They'll honor him, and maybe play a little bit looser, although people have a tendency to play a good bit of man-to-man versus us."
How Gordon responds to more defensive attention could go a long way in determining how successful his career will be. Many players have a few breakout games, only to fade away once adjustments are made. Gordon's strong drive can only help in that regard.
Cleveland Browns wide received Greg Little was not at practice on Thursday and no one in the Browns organization is exactly sure why. A Browns spokesman said he did not know why Little was not at practice.
Little, a second-year WR out of North Carolina, has started all six games for the Browns this season, catching 14 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. Little has also had a problem with drops this season, with five on the year. Last season Little caught 61 passes for 709 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns selected Little in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft after he did not play in any games his senior season at UNC due to eligibility issues.
Also missing from practice for the Browns on Thursday were linebacker Scott Fujita (neck/shoulder), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), and left guard Jason Pinkston (illness).
The Browns look for their second win of the season on Sunday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts.
Fujita has only played in three games this season, but Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said when Fujita is out, the team misses his leadership. His ability to call plays when needed can help take some of the leadership load off fellow linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.
There are rumors that Fujita could have a career-ending neck injury, but that has yet to be confirmed. Fujita missed the Browns' 34-24 win over the Bengals in Week 6 with what was termed to be a shoulder injury at the time.
The Browns selected Johnson in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Nevada. Johnson saw his first action of the season at linebacker in the Bengals game, registering three tackles. He missed the first four games of the season with a ribs/oblique injury.
Browns running back Trent Richardson was back at practice on Thursday according to the AP's Tom Withers, just days after leaving the Browns' win over the Bengals with a rib injury. Head coach Pat Shurmur says that Richardson may play this weekend against the Colts, but will likely share carries with Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya.
Offensive coordinator Brad Childress is high on Hardesty's potential, saying that he's a different type of runner than the bruising Richardson, and that he played well against the Bengals last week.
Hardesty served as the Browns' feature back for the second half against the Bengals, and racked up 56 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Those totals also represent Hardesty's total production for the season. He also has one catch for nine yards. Ogbonnaya has only three caries for 10 yards on the season, but has 16 catches for 156 yards and is greater threat in the passing game.
The Cleveland Browns (1-5) are slight underdogs for their Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts (2-3).
Unable to play last weekend due to a calf injury suffered in Week 5, Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin finally returned to the the practice field on Wednesday and will be ready for the Colts, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
The 6'2, 330-pound lineman was replaced by the rookie duo of John Hughes and Billy Winn in Sunday's victory over Cincinnati, and his return gives the team a huge boost defensively entering a tricky Week 7 game on the road. Even with Rubin out of the lineup, the combination of Hughes and Winn teamed up to hold the Bengals to just 76 total rushing yards on 20 attempts in the win. With an elite run-stopper like Rubin back in the fold against a Colts offense struggling to run the ball already, Cleveland's defensive front seven is poised for another strong performance.
Along with Rubin's return to the practice field, fellow defensive tackle Phil Taylor was recently removed from the team's short-term injured reserve list and is just weeks away from returning. The No. 21 overall pick out of Baylor in 2011 continues to lift weights in his bid to recover from a torn pectoral muscle, and could be a huge asset to head coach Pat Shurmur's defense when he's finally healthy enough to play again.
#Browns DT Ahtyba Rubin on return from injury: 'Strained calf. It's back healthy. I'll be ready for Sunday & back to same speed & all that'— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 17, 2012
Cleveland head coach Pat Shurmur will hope to take advantage of a severely depleted Indianapolis defense on Sunday afternoon.
Wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin returned to practice on Wednesday, as the Browns get ready to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
Even though he did not reveal if he broke a rib in Sunday's game, Cleveland Browns tailback Trent Richardson confirmed to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal that he will wear protective padding this weekend against the Colts.
The rookie running back was knocked out of his team's Week 6 win over Cincinnati late in the first half, and reported trouble breathing after the hit according to Tom Withers of The Associated Press. Richardson carried the ball just 14 times for 37 yards before being shut down for the day, allowing backup Montario Hardesty to pile up a respectable amount of yardage with the Browns actually ahead on the scoreboard late in the game.
Richardson may be less than 100% for Sunday's Week 7 showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium against fellow rookie Andrew Luck, but the 5'9, 230-pound back is hardly the type of player to let an injury diminish his impact level in a game. Despite being surprisingly adept at shutting down opposing quarterbacks, Indianapolis's defense has yielded 159 rushing yards per game so far this year, offering a great opportunity for Richardson to topple the 100-yard rushing mark for the 2nd time in his career.
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