NFL Wire News

Browns unable to run or win


The Sports Xchange

BEREA, Ohio – One constant in the Cleveland Browns three-game losing streak is an inability to run the football well. The run offense hit a new low in the 34-10 loss to the Cardinals when it gained 39 yards on 20 carries.

“We have to find a way to run the ball and keep our quarterback from getting hit,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “That’s our job.”

This is not a misprint: Running back Isaiah Crowell rushed for 21 yards on eight carries in the first half and finished with 14 yards on 10 carries.

–Rumors about trades involving front-line players including Thomas, center Alex Mack, linebacker Barkevious Mingo and linebacker Paul Kruger circulated before the Browns played the Cardinals. Afterward the players named said the rumors did not distract them.

“This fictitious trading block, to me, you get near the trade deadline and reports start coming out,” head coach Mike Pettine said. “To me, I’m not even going to go there. It seems to happen every year. I am aware of what’s out there, but I have no comment.”

The trade deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

–Cornerback Joe Haden (concussion) was knocked out of the game in the third quarter. It is deeply concerning because he suffered a concussion just three weeks earlier in a game with the Ravens in Baltimore. Earlier in the season Haden missed a game in San Diego because of a shoulder injury.

–Strong safety Donte Whitner (concussion) was injured one series after Joe Haden was knocked out of the game. The injuries put a strain on the secondary because safety Jordan Poyer is out with a shoulder injury. Johnson Bademosi could start in place of Whitner but that leaves the Browns thin at cornerback.

–Tight end Rob Housler (hamstring) missed his second straight game with the injury.

–Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was active Sunday after being a healthy scratch the week before for the first time since playing the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 4. He was targeted once Sunday and did not catch the ball. He does not have a catch this season.

–Wide receiver Brian Hartline caught two touchdown passes in the same game for the first time in his career. They helped his team reach a 20-7 lead in the first half, but the Browns were shut out in the second half.

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