Cleveland Browns: Defensive takeaways from the Week 4 loss

(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Injuries becoming more than evident on Sundays

There is not much one can do to prevent injuries in the NFL. Training and conditioning only go so far and freak accidents are unfortunately an inevitability. However, the football gods clearly are not happy with the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns have each of their last three first-round picks out with injuries in Myles Garrett, Corey Coleman and Danny Shelton.

Garrett, who was this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, expects to return for his NFL debut next week against the New York Jets. Coleman remains sidelined with a broken hand for the second consecutive year, though is likely to return in 2017.

As for Shelton, his calf injury is nothing serious and he is expected to return against the Jets as well. As a matter of fact, rookie Larry Ogunjobi has stepped up in Shelton’s absence and has certainly taken advantage of his playing time when provided. After just four games his efficiency in stopping the run is near the top of the NFL. 

The Browns also have missed linebacker Jaime Collins the last two weeks as he nurses a concussion. Cleveland acquired Collins in a trade with the New England Patriots in 2016 and his production has been plentiful. Of course, he signed a four-year contract extension worth $50 million so the Browns look forward to getting him back on the field as soon as possible.

This franchise is committed to rebuilding from scratch and with a plethora of young talent it is necessary to keep them healthy and on the field. The experience is key and the Browns cannot afford to lose valuable pieces such as Garrett and Collins and expect to remain competitive.

The Browns had several opportunities to take down Dalton, but just couldn’t get the job done. Having a pass rusher such as Garrett on the field for every play instantly sparks the defense and should add motivation next week.

This defense has a whole lot of potential but the fact remains they’ve yet to play one snap with their starting unit. Getting experience together and building chemistry is emphatically important to sustaining a consistent defense. And that is one thing this Browns team needs now more than ever.