CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 20: Gary Barnidge #82 of the Carolina Panthers spins upfield after a reception against Tyrell Johnson #25 of the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium on December 20, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
With injuries to Gary Barnidge, Jason Pinkston, Barkevious Mingo and Dion Lewis, it’s worth wondering if the Browns should change some of their plans for week three against the Colts. With that in mind, here’s a WFNY roundtable to talk about the injuries and what the Browns should do in reaction.
Craig: So now that the Browns have been bitten by the injury bug, and now that they’ve looked good in two straight games, do you think their plan changes for game three against the Colts? I know this is traditionally a dress-rehearsal game in the NFL, and I know I was the one who criticized the Browns for not playing deeper into pre-season a year ago, but even I’m having second thoughts today because they looked good. Do you think the plans have or should change for game three?
Scott: The unfortunate truth of football is that injuries will occur. I think halftime is pretty integral in all of this—adjustments after the break are vital in winning football games. I obviously don’t want anyone to get hurt. I still think they need to keep up this positive momentum and tally a few more reps.
Rick: I know one thing, after Pinkston got hurt I sure didn’t want Richardson running the ball anymore.
Craig: Sincerely, Dion Lewis… So that doesn’t change your feelings about Weeden then too?
Andrew: I always feel like injuries are a part of football. You’re always going to have to deal with them. So I would prefer not to let them dictate a team’s preparation for the season. I would prefer to see the Browns stick to whatever their plan was for preseason game #3.
Rick: I wouldn’t be opposed to the starting units playing just a half, especially if they come out and look good against Indy. Perhaps a play tally to hit? The starting offense played roughly 25 snaps Thursday night. That was good for four series. Set a goal at 40 snaps? If you have a few long drives, you get out in fewer drives. Struggle and you could be in there in the third quarter.
Craig: Alright, fine. So if you’re running the Browns front office, how badly are you looking to the outside to find a guard, running back, and maybe even a tight end. The thinness at those spots is continuing to reveal itself.
Rick: Due diligence at least. If Lauvao will be back week three, and it sounds like Pinkston may be back around the same time, maybe a week later I’m not sure you have to go get someone for that time period. Let’s see what Gilkey does this week. After the Indy game players start getting released, then you can make a determination.
The same goes for the tight end spot. Obviously, if an effective player gets a surprise release, I’m all for it. Same with the running back.
TD: Whoever will be available will probably not be worth it, especially on the line. Stick with Gilkey and hope your scouting of him as a draft pick pays dividends. There will be some sort of running back who will end up cut. I’d wait to see on who becomes available there and stick with a fresh Brandon Jackson in the meantime.
Scott: Pinkston is easily the biggest loss here. Yes, Dion Lewis looked exciting, but how many touches per game were we looking at? Throw Gilkey out there this week and see how he plays. If someone gets released, sniff around. By no means do you need to pick up an O’Neil Cousins after first cuts and throw him in as a starter.
And the roundtable is closed. What do you think? Should the plan change? How hard should the Browns be looking outside the organization for help?
Put it in the comments!