CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns will be a little thin on the front and back ends of the defense when they take on the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Sunday afternoon.
Following Friday’s practice, the Browns declared that defensive end Olivier Vernon and versatile defensive back Eric Murray were declared out for Sunday’s game. Vernon suffered a knee injury in last week’s 24-19 loss at the Denver Broncos while Murray is recovering from knee surgery.
In addition to Vernon and Murray, the Browns ruled out tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who was helped off the field last Sunday when he was tackled with a shoulder pad to the kneecap, is questionable for the game.
Starting safety Damarious Randall is listed as questionable after missing the last two games while tending to hamstring injuries, but he was back on the practice field during the week as the Browns went through their preparations for the start of the second half of the season.
Randall missed two games earlier this year with a concussion, but in four starts at safety, he has registered 20 total tackles, including 15 solo stops and five assists, the first two sacks of his NFL career, which resulted in nine lost yards, and three passes defended.
Currently, the Browns are 2-6 overall and four games in back of the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the AFC North Division after going on a four-game losing streak, with three of those losses coming on the road.
The Browns have returned to Cleveland and will play three straight home games before venturing out once again in early December, but regardless of where those matchups are played, Randall understands the focus has to be on winning.
“We’ve got to win games, brother,” Randall said following Wednesday’s practice, his first since suffering the hamstring injury two weeks ago. “I don’t care where the game’s at. The game could be on the moon. It was unacceptable and we’ve got to start winning games.
“We’ve been overcoming adversity the whole entire year. Guys have been banged up, beat up, so next man up and we’re just going to keep pushing.”
Like Randall and Seals-Jones, offensive lineman Kendall Lamm is questionable with a knee injury.