CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett is expected to make his long-awaited regular-season debut in the National Football League today against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
After missing the first four games of the season, losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals at home and on the road at the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts because of a high ankle sprain, Garrett is healthy and ready to go for the Browns.
“It is exciting,” Garrett said after Friday’s practice. “I am ready to play, ready to show what I can do.
“It is just about doing what I can, making the plays I am supposed to make and be who I am supposed to be on the field; not be out of my gap or not missing any assignments, and then, once I correct all of those and I have no hesitation or anything holding me back, then I can try to step forward and have a bigger role.”
Injured in the first practice of the regular season ahead of the Browns’ 21-18 loss to the Steelers, Garrett was able to progress to the point where he ran and did light individual work leading up to the Colts game, and then, increased the workload even more in the preparation for the Bengals game.
However, after being listed as “questionable” last Friday, Garrett was deactivated on Sunday morning and missed his fourth straight contest.
“They are just caring for my safety,” Garrett said. “They want the best for me and they want me to go out there and make an impact, but they don’t want me to go out there, make an impact, and then, miss me for a week or two. They are just looking out for my future, and I know it was a smarter decision.
“I am going to want to play. I am going to want to be out there for my teammates and just try and go out there and get the win, but if I have to take it slow and build upon things week by week, then I will do that.”
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.
“It is just about maintaining your focus,” Garrett said. “Don’t make the moment bigger than it is. Just focus on your keys and taking out the opposing offense.
“Just valuable when it comes to pass rush. Being able to have them say that we are going to put you out there on third down and we want you to flush the quarterback to one of the other guys or take him down yourself. That just means they have confidence in me and what I can do, but I will be out there as much as they want me to be, whether it is a lot or a little.”