2 Cleveland Browns players that could see increased usage with Jarvis Landry out
2 Cleveland Browns that could have higher usage sans Landry – No. 2: Higgins
Secondly, the other pass-catcher that could be set for a bigger target-share could be Higgins.
Sure, a trendy pick could be the likes of Donovan Peoples-Jones, to some degree, or perhaps Cleveland to elect to feature Anthony Schwartz more or even, from a Landry-esque target area, Demetric Felton. Felton did have a heck of an effort on that bubble screen for his first NFL touchdown last week, too.
However, Felton is still a rookie that needs to come along gradually, and Beckham appearing to be nearing a return will feasibly affect Peoples-Jones and/or Schwartz. DPJ did admittedly fumble against Houston, too, and Schwartz stopped his route short, leading to Mayfield throwing an interception also.
So circling back, although we haven’t seen Higgins involved much thus far through two games, and he played just four snaps at KC, he has well-established rapport with Mayfield, and with Landry sidelined, he could have more of a role for Cleveland. That’s whether or not Beckham gets a decent amount of targets, honestly.
Higgins had two catches for 27 yards in Week 2, but did play 70 percent of the snaps, with Landry’s injury playing into it. But Higgins was featured more following Beckham’s injury last season and has chemistry with Mayfield, anyhow, and in 2020, he had a resurgent season with 37 catches for 599 yards. Then, he registered a career-best 16.2 yards per catch.
And, with him being pretty surehanded, and a veteran Mayfield, assuming he is in there, clearly trusts, Higgins could be more involved, particularly on third down or obvious passing situations. Furthermore, last season, passers (Mayfield really) had a 119.0 rating when targeting Higgins.
Moreover, while the likes of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt/the running game will be a crucial part of the Browns offense either way, it does seem that Njoku and Higgins could see more targets their way with Landry out.