BEREA Browns rookie defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey was unable to attend practice on Friday due to a team-related disciplinary matter.
Coach Kevin Stefanski declined to elaborate on the reasons why Winfrey, who was pulled from Oklahoma in the fourth round, was being disciplined. Stefanski also declined to comment on his status ahead of Sunday’s home opener against the New York Jets.
Defensive end Myles Garrett said the problem had developed over time. He also did not specify what the problem was with Winfrey.
“It was pretty common knowledge,” Garrett said. “And it was easy to see. It wasn’t like we had to bring it to his attention. It was just, his actions were very clear.”
Garrett was selected as one of the Browns’ five season-long captains. He also shares a position room with Winfrey, the 108th draft player.
Given the issues that had apparently arisen regarding Winfrey, there was no need for the players to bring up the issue when it came to a head.
“I think we should all stand up and say something, but sometimes silence says more than words,” Garrett said. “And we’ve used our voice a few times and at the end of the day he has to learn how to become a pro and Kevin took it into his own hands and he felt that was the right thing to do and I’m completely behind my coach’s actions.”
Jack Conklin Listed As Doubtful, Chris Hubbard Eliminated Against New York Jets
The Browns continue to view Jack Conklin’s correct tackle as questionable as he recovers from last year’s ruptured patellar tendon. Stefanski indicated that the plan remained the same for Conklin, who has yet to play in a game since he was injured in Baltimore on Nov. 28.
Conklin went through extensive training about two hours prior to the opener in Carolina along with fellow tackler Chris Hubbard. Both were inactive for that game.
“I think he’s very, very close,” Stefanski said of Conklin. “We’ll let the next 48 hours determine where we go.”
Stefanski only said, “When he’s ready, he’ll play,” when asked if the short week between Sunday’s game and Thursday night’s game against Pittsburgh would play a part in a decision.
Hubbard has already been ruled out for Sunday against the Jets. He had been fighting a disease.
Jets QB Zach Wilson Officially Out, TE CJ Uzomah Doubtful To Browns
The Jets have officially eliminated quarterback Zach Wilson as he recovers from a preseason knee injury. Wilson had been limited in practice all week, and Joe Flacco had always expected to be the starter on Sunday.
Tight head CJ Uzomah did not train on Friday with a hamstring injury. A former Cincinnati Bengal, Uzomah was listed as doubtful for the game.
Listed as doubtful for the Jets: receiver Braxton Berrios (heel), offensive lineman George Fant (knee), defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (toe), punter Braden Mann (back), and safety Jordan Whitehead (ankle).
Brown’s defense gets handy with the passes
One way the Browns’ line of defense had an impact on Carolina was how they could knock balls down. They established that in the first play, when Jadeveon Clowney drove in a pass from Baker Mayfield.
Clowney had two such deflections. The Browns had a total of seven deflections, five of which were from defensive linemen.
“I feel like batted passes are overlooked compared to sacks,” said debutant Alex Wright, who had one batted pass during his debut. “Sacks can bring all the energy and what-nothing. Passes hit, that helps the team just as much. That can come in handy and work in situations you never know. Like a cornerback being beaten or something like that. You, by hitting the ball down, which helps him, helps the team live to fight another down the same distance.”
Defensive line coach Chris Kiffin said part of preparing for any given game is trying to learn where a quarterback will release the ball. So how they approached Mayfield last week may be different than how they approach Jets quarterback Joe Flacco.
That knowledge goes straight to how the linemen can get their hands on the passes.
“I learned as a young coach how important batted passes are and how important they are for defense,” said Kiffin. “Really, it’s dead game to attack, so it’s a critical matter. We represent it. We represent it on the sled. We try to match the hand when the hand comes off and you’re stuck in a rush. Just something that we constantly preach… It affects the game, and we’ll keep hammering on that, no matter what type of quarterback we play. We’re always trying to hit balls down.”
Tight schedule for Browns can affect rotations vs. jets
There were a number of key Browns players who did not play in any of the three preseason games. That made the Carolina opener their game debut for the season.
Those players had a normal week of preparation en route to Sunday’s home opener against the Jets, but there won’t be that time between games next week. The Browns will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
That could have an impact on the rotations in some positions, such as cornerback, against the Jets.
“I think we’re just trying to take into account a few guys who haven’t played much in the preseason and then you get a game on Thursday night,” Stefanski said. “That’s something we talked about. Maybe they do it in this game, maybe they don’t.”
Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @ceasterlingABJ
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Perrion Winfrey Absent for Browns Disciplinary Reasons