BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns have had to be patient when it comes to getting rookie defensive lineman Myles Garrett onto the field on game day, but they believe he is getting closer to making his return to the team.
For the fourth straight week, Garrett was inactive because of a high ankle sprain and missed his third consecutive game against an AFC North Division foe, as he sat out a 31-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in “The Battle of Ohio” at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
“I think we were close this past week,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “I think we are definitely going to be closer this week, but let’s get through practice and make sure there are no hiccups that way. If there isn’t, hopefully, we can get him out there this Sunday and ready to play. We need all of our guys out there ready to go, participating. We have a big game this week.”
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 last Thursday.
“What we saw, we still weren’t comfortable that he was 100 percent and where he needs to be,” Jackson said. “I think he had a good couple of days of practice, but it still wasn’t to our liking as a group together.
“He is an important part of our organization. We are going to stick him out there when he is ready to go, not when he can all of a sudden have setbacks and we lose him again for four or five weeks.”
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 last week of what Garrett’s return will mean for the team.
“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.”