- Joe Schobert, Damarious Randall, Rashard Higgins ponder what may be their last home game with Browns (Beacon Journal) - Joe Schobert’s wife, Megan, recently reminded the Browns linebacker about the harsh reality he faces. Sunday’s home finale against the AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens (12-2) could be the last time Schobert plays in Cleveland as a member of the Browns (6-8).
- With Baltimore in town, can the Browns finally get lined up right? (Terry Pluto) - Talking to myself as Baltimore comes to FirstEnergy Stadium for Sunday’s final Browns home game of 2019.
- Freddie Kitchens could really use win over red-hot Ravens (Browns Zone) - This would be a good time for coach Freddie Kitchens to enhance his resume. Before he might be forced to update it. As owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam and general manager John Dorsey weigh Kitchens’ merits to return, he could use a few more pros to counter the list of cons compiled throughout his rocky rookie year.
- 9 questions for Joel Bitonio (clevelandbrowns.com) - Joel Bitonio has been the rock on Cleveland’s offensive line, and that’s nothing new for the sixth-year veteran. Bitonio was named Tuesday as a first alternate for the 2020 Pro Bowl. If one of the three AFC guards pulls out of the game, Bitonio will be headed to the game for the second time in his career.
- For Pro Bowler Khalil Mack, no success without playoffs (NFL.com) - A season ago at this time, Khalil Mack and the resurgent Bears had clinched the NFC North and had a postseason to look forward to. Now, the only postseason for Mack and a couple Bears teammates is the Pro Bowl as they’ve been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs equation with two games remaining.
- Texans slip past Buccaneers, clinch AFC South title (Houston Chronicle) - It never seems to come easy this season, but the Texans are headed back to the playoffs. In a roller-coaster game that probably shouldn’t have been as close as it was, the Texans outlasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-20 on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium to clinch their second straight AFC South crown and fourth in six seasons.
- Darren Sproles to retire, says ‘I gave it everything I had on every play’ (ESPN) - Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles will retire after the season, ending his 15-year career in the NFL. Sproles, who is out for the remainder of this season with torn right hip flexor muscle, announced his decision Saturday, saying in a statement that “I gave it everything I had on every play.”
- The N.F.L.’s Embrace of Black Players Has Always Been Conditional (New York Times) - A new guard of black quarterbacks is leading the N.F.L. but as 100 years of history have shown — from Fritz Pollard to Colin Kaepernick — the league has always needed a push to make progress.