CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns will be without the services of veteran linebacker Jamie Collins, and are likely to miss rookie defensive end Myles Garrett and wide receiver Sammie Coates when they take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.
Collins remains in the National Football League’s Concussion Protocol, and was unable to clear the tests in time to practice Friday, while Garrett works his way back from a high ankle sprain suffered in practice in the lead-up to the first game of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coates is dealing with a hamstring injury.
Collins has the fourth-most tackles on the Browns’ defense this season (11), ranks second in solo stops (nine) and forced one fumble.
With Collins out of the lineup, the Browns could turn to James Burgess, who has made three solo tackles and defended one pass in two games this season.
“James is another one of those young guys who came back, had a real good offseason and we said, ‘Okay, let’s give him a little more,’” Browns coach Hue Jackson said earlier in the week. “We did, and then, he earned more and he took more.
“Now, the guy is playing. He is a real important part of our defensive scheme and the things we do. He has done really well, and I’m happy to have him here. These young guys that you are mentioning are just the cornerstones of our organization that are going to continue to get better over time because they are playing a lot of football and playing some good football.”
On Wednesday, Jackson left open the possibility that Garrett could make his regular-season debut against the Colts. Following Thursday’s practice at the team’s Berea training facility, Jackson again addressed the status of Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“I think we are getting closer,” Jackson said. “We will see where we are as we get toward the end of the week, but again, our medical team has done a really good job of working through it.
“He has done everything he can do, and then some, trying to make sure that he can hurry up and get back because he wants to be out there with his teammates. At the same time, we are going to be smart about it and make sure that everything is good to go, so that when he is ready to go, he is really ready to go.”
Garrett registered two tackles, including a sack for a nine-yard loss, during three preseason games.
Garrett spent part of Wednesday’s practice on the exercise bike, and in the portion of Thursday’s practice open to the media, he went through a running routine.
“I think he is messing with you guys a little bit,” Jackson said with a laugh.
“Like I said, we are getting closer. We will see where he is as we finish this week, but I feel good about where he is headed. We are closer to him having a chance to be out there than not being out there.”
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