CLEVELAND -- For the fifth time in eight games this season, the Cleveland Browns will be without the services of rookie defensive end Myles Garrett.
After missing the first four games of the regular season because of a high ankle sprain suffered in a practice leading up to the home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett reported concussion-like symptoms Tuesday, was entered into the NFL Concussion Protocol shortly after and did not make the trip to London for the 2017 International Series matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium.
“We’ve been through it,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “There’s times we didn’t have him to start the year, and our defense has played well, so I suspect that our guys will rise up and play, play good. We’ve done that before.
“That’s what the expectation is. It’s kind of next man up. We wish Myles was here. He’s not, so again, those guys over there in Carl Nassib and Nate Orchard, they’ll go in and they’ll play well, and they’ll do what we ask of them to do as far as our defensive scheme is concerned.”
Despite being limited in his number of snaps in two games against the New York Jets and Houston Texans, Garrett registered three sacks and seven total tackles.
In the lead-up to his NFL debut against the Jets, Garrett talked about how much he looked forward to getting his first career sack, and it took him all of one series to accomplish that goal in front of the home fans.
Late in the second quarter, Garrett once again sacked Jets quarterback Josh McCown.
Garrett followed up his debut performance against the Jets with a sack of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson in a 33-17 loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium in what was the Arlington native’s return to Texas after a standout career at Texas A&M led to him being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Then, Garrett collected a sack of Marcus Mariota in a 12-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday.
Through three games this season, Garrett has registered 11 total tackles, seven solo stops and four sacks.
“There’s several different pieces to the Concussion Protocol,” Jackson said. “I think we were able to get through the first phase of it, and felt really good about it, but there’s other phases to it that I don’t think we got past, and that’s just the way it works. That’s what it is, nothing more than that.”
With Garrett out of the lineup, the Browns will be without their top pass rusher against Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, who in relief of injured signal-caller Sam Bradford has completed 122 of his 190 attempts for 1,322 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions.
Additionally, the Vikings have relied on Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray to pick up the slack left by a season-ending injury to rookie Dalvin Cook. McKinnon and Murray have combined for 447 yards and three touchdowns on 114 carries.