1. Chase Winovich shows up big for Browns defense
There was a Chase Winovich sighting versus Washington.
It’s not surprising when Myles Garrett pulls down a sack or two, and in fact, he did exactly that versus the Commanders, coming away with a sack and a half for the game. However, it was more of a surprise that Winovich also had a sack plus four solo tackles. He was generally a pain in the butt for Carson Wentz the entire afternoon when he was on the field.
Winovich had been pretty much given up for dead earlier this season with a pulled hamstring, the same injury which derailed his final campaign in New England last year. It looked like that might be a chronic injury. Worse, Winovich was obtained in a trade for popular Mack Wilson, a tough linebacker who endeared himself to the Dawg Pound because of his rugged style of play. That made it difficult for the fans to accept Winovich in place of a departed fan favorite.
Although Cleveland has had five linebackers on Injured Reserve, that was not knowable in the offseason. It looked like the Browns had an abundance of talent at linebacker, and it made sense at the time to acquire a good lineman for a good linebacker.
Winovich is very valuable if he can give a breather to veteran Jadeveon Clowney, who is a stud player if his workload is properly managed. Similarly, they need to give Garrett just a little rest to keep him fresh for the fourth quarter when they need his heroics. Winovich was able to slow down the Washington running game while also applying the heat to Wentz.
If he can stay healthy, he can still play. With all the damage he caused to Washington, Winovich put on quite a show for a part-time player, which argues for more playing time in next week’s season finale versus Pittsburgh.