Inconsistent Little benched by Browns
CLEVELAND – To the surprise of no one, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski won’t start receiver Greg Little on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Josh Gordon, who returns from a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and Davone Bess will start. It’s not known if Travis Benjamin would play ahead of Little.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Little, on and off the field. He has eight receptions for 59 yards and has dropped at least four passes.
Off the field, it’s been revealed that Little has a lengthy history of traffic violations, including a ticket last spring for driving 127 mph in a 65 zone. Little was ticketed again last weekend after the loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Chudzinski said the demotion isn’t related to the traffic violations. It’s strictly performance related.
It’s not known how Chudzinski would handle the situation if the offense opens in a three-receiver set. Given Little’s inconsistencies and the need to jump start the offense, Benjamin might be the third man in the mix.
SETTING A PRECEDENT: The decision to move quarterback Brian Hoyer from third on the depth chart to a starting spot in place of the injured Brandon Weeden could set a dangerous precedent for starters who go down with injuries.
“I’m not the guy that’s going to tell you why that is, but it’s unusual,” offensive tackle Joe Thomas said. “That’s the way it is. Guys get hurt and people get leapfrogged. Every year I’ve been here you have injuries and you put guys in there. If you get rattled by that, you’re going to have a lot of problems because you’re going to be worrying about stuff outside of your job.”
GETTING CLOSER: Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin returned to practice after missing the first two games with a calf injury. Guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) also was on the field. Both players were limited.
MORE TESTS: Weeden will see a hand specialist today at the Cleveland Clinic to determine if his injury is more extensive than first thought. Chudzinski indicated that it’s not believed the injury will sideline Weeden for the long term.
MOVING THE CHARTS: Tight end Jordan Cameron is off to a strong start, having caught 14 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown. The reception total is tied for the lead among all NFL tight ends and is tied for fourth among AFC receivers and 10th among NFL receivers. The yardage total ties Cameron for third among AFC players and 12th among NFL players.
SACK SPECIALIST: Defensive end Desmond Bryant was credited with half a sack against the Ravens, extending his sack streak to six games, dating back to last season with the Oakland Raiders. It is the longest active streak in the NFL. Since Dec. 6 of last year, Bryant has 6.5 sacks, tying him with Cameron Wake of the Miami Dolphins for the most in the NFL.
INJURY REPORT: In addition to Weeden, also out for the Browns is linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle).
Tight end Rhett Ellison (knee) didn’t practice for the Vikings. Limited were defensive tackle Fred Evans (shoulder), linebacker Erin Henderson (heel), safety Harrison Smith (arm), center John Sullivan (knee) and defensive tackle Kevin Williams (knee).