Browns vs. Colts: Oniel Cousins to Start at Right Guard

"I need a bigger coat." - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know who this guy is, but the tweet seemed relevant:

On Thursday, Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski announced to the media that veteran offensive lineman Oniel Cousins will start at right guard against the Indianapolis Colts. Since the injuries to both Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston, Cousins has been alternating reps with rookie Garrett Gilkey on the first-team offense in practice. Although Gilkey is expected to get some reps with the first-team offense against the Colts as well, does Chudzinski's latest declaration express concern about starting Gilkey?

Here's what I think:

  • Chudzinski and company have gotten a long look at Gilkey this camp as a member of the second-team offense. They like his potential, but would prefer to start someone with more experience if possible.
  • The Browns already tried adding another offensive guard in John Moffitt, but that didn't work out. Before they try exploring another deal, they probably want to get a look at how Cousins does when he is thrown into the fire. Is he at least competent at the position?
  • Cousins has missed most of camp with an injury, but he's back now. I think the reason he "gets the start" is so Cleveland can have more film on him before proceeding with the decision to acquire somebody else, go with Gilkey, or just flat out start Cousins.

Before training camp started, we knew there would be a competition to see who would start at offensive guard. Nobody had any idea that heading into the third preseason game that "Gilkey" and "Cousins" would be the two names in the mix to start. Based on Cousins' past performance at right tackle, I think fans are most certainly hoping that Gilkey ends up starting on opening day.

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