CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns will have to wait at least another week to get rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett onto the field on game day.
For the fourth straight week, Garrett is inactive because of a high ankle sprain and will miss his third straight game against an AFC North Division foe, as he will sit out “The Battle of Ohio” against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium today.
Listed as “questionable” after being limited in Thursday and Friday’s practices, Garrett is unable to go against the Bengals. However, when Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, does return, his teammates understand the kind of difference he will make for the Browns.
“Really, the role that he is going to have the biggest impact is as a third-down pass rusher and as a second-and-long pass rusher,” 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said.
“He is great against the run, don’t get me wrong, but the impact that a pass rusher can make is huge for a defense. If he can’t play on first down or even second down, that is okay with us. We have a lot of guys that can defend against the run. Where he is going to be a difference maker is third down rushing the passer.”
Injured in the first practice of the regular season ahead of the Browns’ 21-18 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett was able to progress to the point where he ran and did light individual work leading up to last Sunday’s loss at the Indianapolis Colts, and then, increased the workload even more this week.
Albeit on a limited basis, Garrett returned to practice for the first time since the injury on Thursday.
“There was one time where he came right off the edge, dusted the tackle and it would have been a sack if we were allowed to touch the quarterbacks in practice,” linebacker Joe Schobert said. “The whole offensive line was kind of giving him a little because, ‘Oh, Myles is out here?’ Saying stuff because it is his first time back and he has been missing. He looks good.”
In 34 games over his three years at Texas A&M, Garrett registered 141 total tackles, including 81 solo stops and 60 assists, with 31.0 quarterback sacks, seven forced fumbles, one recovery, five passes defended and one interception.
Garrett registered two tackles, including a sack for a nine-yard loss, during three preseason games with the Browns.
“A huge boost,” veteran defensive back Jason McCourty said. “He is another player for us. The more weapons you have, the better you are going to be. When Jamie (Collins Sr.) is back out there, it will be another weapon. When you get your players back out there, it is a good feeling to have, and you know what those guys bring to the table.
“I just believe in football, the better players you have out there, the better you are going to be. It sounds so simple, but I just think that is what it is. Myles was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. I think we all know he possesses a special type of talent. Just having that caliber of talented player out on the field, we will all benefit from it.”