CLEVELAND -- There may not be a spot on the field for veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt during games, but Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson believes the nine-year professional has a place within the locker room.
In Sunday’s 33-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings (6-2) at Twickenham Stadium in London, the Browns (0-8) felt they were better off with Britt out of the lineup, as Jackson benched him just two weeks after sending him home from Houston prior to a loss to the Texans because he broke curfew.
“There is a spot for him on this roster,” Jackson said in a conference call with the Cleveland media Monday. “I have played Kenny most games when he was healthy. He has been out there. He has been a starter.
“I wanted to do something different, as I told him. I was very honest. We played Bryce Treggs a little bit more because I wanted to get a good feel for him in the game. That is what it was, but is there still a place for Kenny Britt? There is.”
Just prior to the Browns making the trip to London, Britt told ESPN.com that he “hated London, hated it with a passion.”
According to Jackson, the decision was not related to any incident while the team was in London, even though Britt slammed the NFL International Series.
“I never even knew about those comments,” Jackson said. “Obviously, I don’t read much of what goes on, so I’m not really sure what you are referring to. I didn’t see that, but I would hope that -- obviously, he said it -- but I would hope that he didn’t mean it that way. Obviously, he has played over there with different teams, but he hadn’t played over there with our team yet. I’m not sure where that came from.”
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Britt joined the Browns after his only 1,000-yard showing in eight NFL seasons, one in which he caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. However, Britt has proven to be a distraction, on and off the field.
Along with fellow receiver Corey Coleman, Britt was sent home from Houston for missing curfew ahead of the 33-17 loss to the Texans at NRG Stadium, and currently ranks seventh on the team in receptions. Britt has just 10 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown through the first eight games of the season.
“If I knew that Kenny Britt was a negative influence on our football team, he wouldn’t be here,” Jackson said. “I have conversations with all of our players.
“Everybody is going to have some issues from time to time. Obviously, his are well documented. There are some games that he hasn’t played. There are some games where things haven’t gone as well, but hopefully, those things are not bleeding over into our locker room because I would not allow that.”