CLEVELAND -- One week after making his debut in the National Football League, Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett makes a return to his home state of Texas with today’s game against the Houston Texas at NRG Stadium.
And while Garrett, an Arlington, Texas native, will be playing in front of close family and friends, his sole focus is getting the Browns their first win of the season.
“Just the family members that are located near there. That is about it,” Garrett said. “I don’t expect too many people there, and I am going to be focused on winning the game.
“It is home, so it is nice to be back home and around the people I love, but I am more focused on the game than anything.”
Despite the Browns (0-5) suffering a 17-14 loss to the New York Jets (3-2) at FirstEnergy Stadium last Sunday, Garrett recorded two sacks of veteran quarterback Josh McCown for 12 lost yards with two additional hits on the one-time Browns signal-caller.
Prior to his NFL debut, Garrett talked about how much he looked forward to getting his first career sack with the Browns, and it took him all of one series to accomplish that goal in front of the home fans.
With the Jets facing a third-and-five from their own 31-yard line, McCown dropped back into the shotgun formation, but on delayed pressure after running a stunt, Garrett rushed through the line of scrimmage and collected his first NFL sack.
Garrett’s play on third down forced a Jets punt.
After getting his first sack against McCown on the very first regular-season snap of his career, Garrett once again sacked the veteran signal-caller late in the second quarter.
With the Jets facing a third-and-eight from their own 16-yard line and pressure collapsing the pocket, McCown attempted to run to the left side of the formation to extend his passing lane, but Garrett broke free from the block of left tackle Kelvin Beachum and brought down the quarterback by the shoe tops, which forced another New York punt.
“Just going out and making a difference,” Garrett said. “Whether it was the first play, last play, whenever my time came, it was going to happen, but it came early.”
Garrett missed the first four games of the regular season because of a high ankle sprain that occurred in the first practice ahead of the 2017 regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but made steady progress throughout the last month and was diligent enough in his rehabilitation that he returned on the short end of the original timetable of four-to-six weeks.
During the second half, Garrett appeared to be hobbled, but both he and Browns coach Hue Jackson dismissed discussion about possibly reinjuring his ankle. Instead, Garrett said that despite being “a little bit sore,” he wants an increased workload as the season continues.
“It just depends on how it responds this week and how I respond this week,” Garrett said. “If I have a good week of practices and it feels good, then I can give it more snaps, play a little bit more in the fourth quarter and bring more to the table.”
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