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Browns looking to be healthier after bye week

Team receives good news on defensive end Myles Garrett; return of other key players on the horizon.

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Indianapolis Colts v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns and defensive end Myles Garrett received good news on Monday as an MRI revealed no structural damage to Garrett’s knee.

Garrett suffered what the team called a knee contusion early in Sunday’s loss to the Los Vegas Raiders. The injury limited Garrett’s effectiveness and he was on the sidelines for the majority of the second half, which contributed to the end of his streak of six consecutive games with a sack.

But with no major damage to the knee, Garrett is expected to be ready to go when the Browns return from their bye week to take on the Houston Texans on November 15, head coach Kevin Stefanksi told clevelandbrowns.com:

“It’s obvious how much of an impact he makes in these games … we dodged a bullet. We just need him to come back Wednesday and see if he’s ready to practice. If he’s not, we’ll have a few days to rest and get ready to roll next week.

“He’s like a lot of our players eight games into this thing. Nobody’s 100 percent. You’ve got all sorts of nicks and bruises and those types of things. He’s a warrior, he battles through these things, but certainly the rest should help all of those guys.”

The Browns got a look at life without Garrett last season when he served his six game suspension and it was not pretty. With Garrett limited on Sunday, the Raiders gave everyone a reminder of Garrett’s importance by putting together a pair of scoring drives in the fourth quarter that both consumed almost nine minutes of clock.

The bye week will also prove beneficial to several other injured Cleveland players.

Washington Football Team v Cleveland Browns Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Stefanski confirmed on Monday that tight end Austin Hooper will be back for the game against the Texans. Hooper has missed the past two games after undergoing an appendectomy on October 23.

The offense did fine without Hooper against the Cincinnati Bengals as tight ends Harrison Bryant and David Njoku combined for six receptions for 76 yards and three touchdowns. Hooper’s absence was evident against the Raiders, however, as Bryant and Njoku combined for just four receptions and 44 yards, while Bryant had a costly fumble on the opening drive of the game and Njoku had a costly drop in the fourth quarter.

Even though he could not say for sure, Stefanski did say the Browns will know more later this week about the status of running back Nick Chubb and right guard Wyatt Teller.

Chubb has been out since Week 4 after suffering a knee injury against the Dallas Cowboys. Running back Kareem Hunt has worked to pick up the slack, but he has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and 81 yards per game of total offense with Chubb out of the lineup.

The situation is the same at right guard since Teller injured a calf muscle against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5. Chris Hubbard has done his best to fill in for Teller and has an overall grade of 72.1 from Pro Football Focus, but that is a major drop off from Teller’s grade of 94.4, which puts him as the best guard in the league.

The loss to the Raiders was disappointing, but the Browns are still 5-3 and very much in the running to make the playoffs this season.

A return to health from the team’s key players after the bye week will go a long way toward helping the team achieve that goal.