Unexpected breakout player could make the difference for Browns in Week 15

In Week 15, the Cleveland Browns will need some of their role players to step up and James Proche could be the one to provide a spark

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Michael Owens/GettyImages

In Week 15, the Cleveland Browns will host the Chicago Bears as they look for their second win in a row. They're also looking to improve to 7-1 at home and 9-5 overall — which would give them their second winning season over the past four years. Chicago comes in at 5-8 overall but they've won two in a row, including a Week 14 victory over the Detroit Lions.

While Detroit is a very solid team, they're also a divisional opponent for Chicago. So are the Minnesota Vikings, who they defeated in Week 14. With that being said, the current winning streak for the Bears shouldn't be too worrisome. But that doesn't mean the Browns can overlook them. Instead, they're going to need everyone to step up and one player in particular could be a difference-maker for them.

James Proche II joined the roster shortly after Donovan Peoples-Jones was traded to Detroit. Not only did he take DPJ's number, but Proche also replaced him as the punt returner. He had a muffed punt against Baltimore but outside of that, he's been playing well in this role.

On 15 returns, he has 150 yards — and it could have been more if not for a few penalties that took back some solid returns. While he has yet to truly break one, he's been close and this weekend could be the one where he finally gets into the open field.

Chicago is currently surrendering more than 14 yards per punt return with their opponents putting up 327 yards and a touchdown on 23 returns. That touchdown came in Week 10 when they barely hung on to beat the struggling Carolina Panthers. Ihmir Smith-Marsette took a punt back 79 yards for the score in that one.

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With so many injuries in Cleveland, they could use another solid outing from their special teams. Last week, Corey Bojorquez and Pierre Strong both stood out for them in that regard. This week, Proche is the prime candidate to step up.