Cleveland Browns defensive end Ahtyba Rubin missed his third straight practice on Friday due to a calf injury he suffered during the team's Week 5 loss to the New York Giants. Rubin's status may be in doubt for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron addressed the possibility that rookie DTs John Hughes and Billy Winn will play a bigger role in Week 6 if Rubin is unable to go. Jauron explained his thinking during his meeting with reporters on Thursday (via clevelandbrowns.com):
"You don't want to lose Rube. It's another one of those situations where a starter leaves the lineup and it's just not good, it's not what you're looking for. Rube is a quiet leader for us so we don't want him off the field. We don't really have any problems nor choices with John (Hughes) and Billy (Winn), but they both really, they've played at a high level and they're getting better. I believe they're getting better every week. They just are so those two picks proved to be, I think long-term will really serve the organization well, short-term also. They are playing well."
Cleveland's defense currently ranks No. 25 against the run and No. 27 against the pass, but they finally get cornerback Joe Haden back from his four-game suspension so things could turn around for the unit if they can keep everyone else healthy. Unfortunately, that has proven to be a difficult task for the team so far in 2012.
The Browns gave up 34 points to the Bengals when the two teams met in Week 2, so they will look to improve upon that effort in the rematch on Sunday.