Browns Game 3 plans should remain unchanged: Cleveland Browns Injury Roundtable

With injuries to Gary Barnidge, Jason Pinkston, Barkevious Mingo and Dion Lewis, it’s worth wondering if the Browns should change some of their plans for week three against the Colts. With that in mind, here’s a WFNY roundtable to talk about the injuries and what the Browns should do in reaction.


Craig: So now that the Browns have been bitten by the injury bug, and now that they’ve looked good in two straight games, do you think their plan changes for game three against the Colts? I know this is traditionally a dress-rehearsal game in the NFL, and I know I was the one who criticized the Browns for not playing deeper into pre-season a year ago, but even I’m having second thoughts today because they looked good. Do you think the plans have or should change for game three?

Scott: The unfortunate truth of football is that injuries will occur. I think halftime is pretty integral in all of this—adjustments after the break are vital in winning football games. I obviously don’t want anyone to get hurt. I still think they need to keep up this positive momentum and tally a few more reps.

Rick: I know one thing, after Pinkston got hurt I sure didn’t want Richardson running the ball anymore.

Craig: Sincerely, Dion Lewis… So that doesn’t change your feelings about Weeden then too?

Andrew: I always feel like injuries are a part of football. You’re always going to have to deal with them. So I would prefer not to let them dictate a team’s preparation for the season. I would prefer to see the Browns stick to whatever their plan was for preseason game #3.

Rick: I wouldn’t be opposed to the starting units playing just a half, especially if they come out and look good against Indy. Perhaps a play tally to hit? The starting offense played roughly 25 snaps Thursday night. That was good for four series. Set a goal at 40 snaps? If you have a few long drives, you get out in fewer drives. Struggle and you could be in there in the third quarter.

Craig: Alright, fine. So if you’re running the Browns front office, how badly are you looking to the outside to find a guard, running back, and maybe even a tight end. The thinness at those spots is continuing to reveal itself.

Rick: Due diligence at least. If Lauvao will be back week three, and it sounds like Pinkston may be back around the same time, maybe a week later I’m not sure you have to go get someone for that time period. Let’s see what Gilkey does this week. After the Indy game players start getting released, then you can make a determination.

The same goes for the tight end spot. Obviously, if an effective player gets a surprise release, I’m all for it. Same with the running back.

TD: Whoever will be available will probably not be worth it, especially on the line. Stick with Gilkey and hope your scouting of him as a draft pick pays dividends. There will be some sort of running back who will end up cut. I’d wait to see on who becomes available there and stick with a fresh Brandon Jackson in the meantime.

Scott: Pinkston is easily the biggest loss here. Yes, Dion Lewis looked exciting, but how many touches per game were we looking at? Throw Gilkey out there this week and see how he plays. If someone gets released, sniff around.  By no means do you need to pick up an O’Neil Cousins after first cuts and throw him in as a starter.


And the roundtable is closed. What do you think? Should the plan change? How hard should the Browns be looking outside the organization for help?

Put it in the comments!

  • Adam Copeland

    I don’t think the injuries should change their approach – they still need to stay sharp and there’s no better way to do that through playing actual games against guys that are actually trying to hit you (or avoid being hit by your defense).

    I agree the Pinkston loss looms the largest in terms of the injury, and I think the Browns now have an urgent need to find additional offensive lineman. You hope both Pinkston and Lauvao can come back and be effective, but the Browns need some better assurance than that. They currently have 0 offensive line depth.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    I don’t know that they have a “continuing” problem at RB and OL.

    At RB you still have Richardson (bulk of touches), Ogbonnoya (who was a very solid 3rd down back last year), and Jackson (who has been a feature back and isn’t exactly horrible).

    At OL you’ve lost two Gs, so obviously that’s rough, but both should be back relatively soon. And Gilkey getting a bit of playing time could help him and the Browns much like Billy Winn’s situation worked out last year, or like Pinkston (at G), Lavauo (at G), and Greco (at G)’s situations have the last two years – you’re still playing between two very good players who can help cover up some errors while you learn fast.

    While nobody enjoys injuries, there’s no reason to hit any panic buttons… yet.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Injuries in particular in football are part of the game it’s just how it goes call it the nature of the beast. I wish there was one less preseason game though.

  • Harv 21

    agree with all of this. They’ll be plenty of legit things to panic about soon enough. 🙂

  • Harv 21

    I think losing Travis Benjamin would be a bigger loss than losing Dion Lewis. He’s looking mighty explosive as a returner and I’ve got this feeling Norv is hiding some offensive plays to spring him deep once the regular season starts. Dion is a change of pace, not a feature back to replace Trent if he goes down again. They can find a lesser version after the roster cuts start.

    Also, why is no one talking about Jabal Sheard today? Here we (ok, I) thought he was imperiled, and he looks as happy at LB as a duckling introduced to water, like he’s shot from a rocket toward the ball carrier with that running start. Between Sheard, Cameron and Weeden, really starting to think that coaching staff was seriously getting in Heckert’s way.

  • CB Everett

    Yeah, but in all fairness, I’m not sure we have any other buttons except the panic button.

  • Leo

    the injuries suck but none of these guys are the teams top players so i don think its THAT major of a concern. Im not sure if Greco will continually get abused by d-lineman (him getting abused by fairley caused pinkston injury) anyways losing lewis may suck but browns still have solid rb group. TE is super thin but im sure they can grab some big dude that can block effectively as thats what Barnige role was

  • MrCleaveland

    Yikes, you never like seeing an “injury roundtable.”

    My feeling is that you can’t play scared. Guys are going to get hurt, be it in “meaningless” exhibition games or hard practices or lifting weights or slipping on a wet floor or getting hit with an errant snap. I don’t think injuries are all that “preventable.” The best you can do is cross your fingers and keep improving your depth at each position.

  • bossman09

    The only injury so far that is really impactful is Lewis…. our BACKUP running back. Both guards will be back before week 8 and probably earlier. If this is the worst we have with injuries, it will be a great year.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I think Pinkston is only expected to miss a week or two. You never know with linemen and ankle sprains, but sounds like he could be ready for the opener.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Hear, hear!

  • Kildawg

    I think Smelley is being underutilized as a TE/FB/H-back in this offense. Marecic and Cousins should be cut, and Miller/Gilkey need to prove themselves as viable backup OL.

  • steve-o

    Some positions produce injuries at a larger rate, and RB is right at the top. I think you have to take that into account regarding Trich. Also we will have to rely on him heavily in the first couple games because of injuries and Gordon’s suspension (which I assume will force us to run the ball more). For similar reasons, I also don’t want us to over-use Cameron, Benjamin, Haden and DQ. Most of the other key players either need the reps (Weeden, Little) or at least do not seem to be quite as injury prone.