Cleveland Browns go with 'Next Man Up' philosophy at wide receiver

CLEVELAND -- To add injury to insult after a 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Cleveland Browns found out that wide receiver Corey Coleman broke a bone in his right hand for the second consecutive season.

Unlike last year, Coleman needed surgery and already underwent the procedure Monday. A timetable for his return has not yet been determined.

“It is so early in the season,” Browns wide receiver Ricardo Louis said. “We are just now getting started. Especially after a loss, as well, it is just tough. You can just imagine being an athlete, playing the sport that you love and getting hurt. Unfortunate situation having to deal with it so early in the season.”

Fellow receiver Rashard Higgins added, “That’s hard to hear. One of our star players on the team, he goes down in the game. For us, it is the next man up. We don’t know how long Corey is going to be out, but we are keeping him in our prayers. Hopefully, it heals fast.”

Although the timetable for Coleman’s return has not yet been figured, one thing has, and that is, in his absence, other wide receivers will have to step up for the Browns.

“Whatever coach wants to do, I am going to be there for him to let me do it,” Louis said. “Whatever the case is, I am going to be out there and I am going to do my job and do what I have to do to help this team win and make plays.”

Signed off of the practice squad Saturday, Higgins could see an expanded role in the coming weeks.

Higgins played in all 16 of the Browns’ games during the 2016 season, and yet, it took him just one contest after being elevated from the practice squad to surpass everything he had accomplished in the NFL to this point.

After catching just six passes for 77 yards in 2016, Higgins turned in a seven-catch, 95-yard performance in the loss at Baltimore.

“It is just one of those things where when you get your opportunity, you just make the best of it,” Higgins said. “I always have confidence in myself. For me to showcase it, that was when my time came. I do that every day at practice, and when it became game time, I just made it look easy, which it was.”

While Higgins had a nice debut to his 2017 season, he knows there must be improvements made as the year goes on, and feels the Browns’ defense will have a key role in that development.

“I have to do better,” Higgins said. “I have to get in the end zone. I’m looking forward to the Colts game. I’m looking forward to it.”

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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