As if the Cleveland Browns’ inaugural season under new head coach Hue Jackson couldn’t get much worse, it was announced yesterday evening that their budding star first-round wide receiver Corey Coleman suffered a fractured hand during practice on Wednesday that will force him to miss an indefinite period of time.
This is in the wake of the Browns also losing third-round defensive end Carl Nassib to the same sort of injury. The Penn State product had a highly productive preseason and was working his way into the rotation. Nassib recorded three tackles, a sack, and a batted pass in the team’s opening game.
For his part, Coleman was also off to a productive start in the first two games of his career. After a big game against the Ravens, the day-one starter had recorded seven receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 24.7 yards per reception, with two of them going for over 40 yards.
I really can’t imagine that any team has had it worse thus far during the 2016 season when it comes to injuries. After all, they are set to start their third quarterback in as many games after their first two quarterbacks suffered injuries that will keep them out for an indefinite period of time.
To put that into perspective, let’s take a brief gander at what the Browns’ quarterback depth chart looks like right now, shall we? With Robert Griffin III currently on injured reserve, they have three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, with two of them being healthy.
Josh McCown is currently injured with a shoulder issue that he suffered early in the game against the Ravens, and it is unknown when he will return. That leaves rookie third-down draft pick Cody Kessler, who was third on the depth chart, to make his NFL debut start on Sunday.
The front office terminated the contract of veteran defensive lineman John Hughes in order to make room on the roster to sign journeyman backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, whom the Steelers personally embarrassed last year while he was with the Colts after they knocked their starter out of the game.
With Coleman now out, Kessler and Whitehurst are left to fire passes off to Terrelle Pryor as their top target, who has six catches for 100 yards through the first two games. It is presumed that veteran slot receiver Andrew Hawkins will start in Coleman’s place, with rookies Ricardo Lewis and Rashard Higgins contributing in three-receiver sets.
These are no doubt bad times in Cleveland, at least when it comes to football, and I should emphasize that this is far from a complete list of what currently ails the Browns franchise, either on or off the field. I haven’t even mentioned the paternity case that Josh Gordon, serving a four-game suspension, was assigned a warrant for arrest for yesterday, though it was resolved by the end of the day.
If you know a Browns fan, and he doesn’t bite, maybe go out of your way to give him a hug today, because he probably needs it.