Aug 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert (21) runs back a kickoff during the first half against the Washington Redskins in a preseason NFL football game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert was cited on Friday after being involved in a road rage incident, according to ESPN Cleveland.
Gilbert reportedly crashed his Dodge Challenger into a drainage ditch in Brunswick, a suburb south of Cleveland, but was not injured. There was no alcohol involved and Gilbert was cited for lack of reasonable control, Brunswick police Sgt. Robert Safran told ESPN Cleveland.
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According to multiple media reports, the incident involved a 55-year-old Parma man (who was not named) driving a Ford Mustang. One car cut off the other, middle fingers were exchanged, and at a traffic stop Gilbert tossed a paper cup of tobacco juice out of the window of his car and it landed on the windshield of the Mustang.
The driver of the Mustang then chased Gilbert’s car on I-71 before both cars exited onto West 130th Street, which is where Gilbert lost control and landed in the ditch.
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Several witnesses called police and reportedly said that the driver of the Mustang was “driving like a maniac,” according to ESPN Cleveland.
The latest incident continues Gilbert’s not so great time with the Browns since being selected with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Gilbert struggled as a rookie, eventually losing playing time to fourth-round draft pick Pierre Desir and undrafted free agent K’Waun Williams. Gilbert also struggled with maturity issues, which led to him being inactive and left in the locker room for the season finale against Baltimore.
The struggles continued through training camp as Gilbert had trouble covering receivers in the scrimmages against Buffalo, was burned badly in the opening preseason friendly against Washington, and finally went down with a hip flexor injury that has him listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Taken as a solo incident, Friday’s accident could be chalked up as just one of those things. But when you add it to the growing list of questions surrounding Gilbert, it leaves us wondering once again if Gilbert is going to figure things out in time to get his career on track.