- It Might Be Time to Take the Browns Seriously (The Ringer) - “Non-losing” might not seem like a high bar until you remember that, for decades, the Cleveland Browns have turned losing into a Technicolor art form. By that standard, perhaps the most surprising aspect of their 2020 season is that their success has come in shades of muted gray. The Browns are pretty good and also a bit boring. It’s not clear which is the more remarkable accomplishment.
- Myles Garrett says COVID-19 ‘kicked my butt’ (Beacon Journal) - Myles Garrett’s body ached. His head ached. He had a fever. His eyes hurt. He was coughing and sneezing and lost his sense of smell for almost two weeks. As the Browns’ star defensive end laid on his couch as COVID-19 “kicked my butt,” he never figured out how he contracted the deadly virus.
- Why the 2020 Browns could follow the path of the 2019 Titans (cleveland.com) - Like the Tennessee Titans in 2019, the Cleveland Browns in 2020 benched their quarterback in the sixth game of the season. Both teams were in the process of figuring out who they were under new coaches, working out rushing attacks they’d come to lean on, and looking for efficient quarterback play.
- Joel Bitonio’s leadership continues to shine as Browns ready for big December games (clevelandbrowns.com) - Kevin Stefanski has delivered a special announcement to the Browns during practice every Friday this season. Stefanski has used the honor to praise, motivate or shine a team spotlight on a certain player each week. In Week 12 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Stefanski selected a player well-worthy of captain status: Joel Bitonio.
- Ravens place QB Robert Griffin III on injured reserve (Baltimore Sun) - The Ravens placed quarterback Robert Griffin III on injured reserve Friday, sidelining the 30-year-old for at least the next three weeks.
- NFL prohibits in-person meetings following game day in latest protocol update (NFL.com) - The league on Friday announced a new round of COVID-19 safety protocol updates, chief among them a change to how the week will begin for every NFL club. Effective Monday, in-person meetings will be prohibited, including those between player and coach, coaches alone, and “staff-only” meetings. Virtual meetings are the only types of meetings permitted during this two-day period, a change that comes in an attempt to prevent internal spread of COVID-19 following game action.
- Talking About Race Made Two NFL Teammates Partners in Activism (New York Times) - The friendship between Ricardo Allen, an undersized cornerback, and Matt Ryan, the heralded quarterback, has shaped the Falcons’ activism against racial injustice.
- 7 NFL teams positioned to be playoff spoilers in 2020 (USA Today) - The NFL’s fairly exclusive playoff party – pandemic permitting – is little more than a month away. That means some teams will be trying to get behind the velvet rope even if it means stealing another’s ticket. Only one invite was sent to the nerds over in the NFC East – no plus-one, fellas – and they’ll be fighting among themselves over it for the next few weeks.