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Joe Woods “very optimistic” about JOK’s return

Defensive coordinator is eager to get rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah back on the field against the New England Patriots.

Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods has seen his defense improve steadily the past three weeks as the Browns have only given up 45 total points.

That performance has helped the Browns go 2-1 in those games and reclaim a spot in a very crowded AFC playoff picture.

And now Woods might be ready to welcome back another weapon on the defensive side of the ball.

Cleveland designated rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to return from the injured reserve list this week after he missed the previous three weeks with a high ankle sprain. The Browns have not yet officially activated Owusu-Koramoah, but when asked on Thursday, Woods said he is “very optimistic” that JOK could play on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

That would be beneficial as the Browns need a win over the Patriots as both teams are currently 5-4 and Cleveland needs to start collecting as many potential tiebreakers as they can if they hope to return to the playoffs.

Despite missing the past three weeks, Owusu-Koramoah has stayed mentally sharp via a note-taking system the likes of which Woods has never seen (quotes via a team-provided transcript):

“You look at it and he has his notebook, he has his own little system of how he does things. I think the linebackers coaches – Coach (Jason) Tarver and Coach (run game coordinator Ben) Bloom – do a great job. He is always in the meetings. They make sure he is engaged.

“(The note taking) is something that Coach Tarver talks to me about in terms of how he goes about taking his notes and the conversations that those guys have. I know he gets a copy of the game plan and goes through it. He looks at all the playbook pictures. Sometimes there might be something wrong in there, and he will find it. He is very diligent just in terms of how he goes about studying the game and preparing himself.”

The Browns have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to activate JOK for this weekend’s game against the Patriots. The fact that he has practiced both Wednesday and Thursday without showing up on the injury report is a good sign that he might be ready to put all that note-taking to good use.