Browns hoping for "jolt" from healthy WR Corey Coleman
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Corey Coleman has endured the pain of losing along with his Browns teammates for two months.
He gets to do something to stop it this week.
The speedy former first-round draft pick whose career has been slowed by twice breaking his right hand, will return to Cleveland’s lineup on Sunday when the Browns face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It’s another re-start for Coleman, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He was sidelined for six games last season with a broken right hand and then suffered an eerily similar injury almost one year to the day in September. Coleman leaped to make a catch against Baltimore, fell hard on his right hand and broke a different bone.
Now he’s physically healed and mentally stronger than ever.
“Stuff’s not going to go always as planned,” said Coleman, who had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland’s first two games.
“You’ve just got to always be positive and keep on rolling. Don’t ever get discouraged about something. If I drop a pass, just keep positive energy, and over time, it’s going to work out.”
Coleman gives the Browns (0-9) a much-needed offensive playmaker. Cleveland’s receiving group has been a major disappointment, and Coleman’s speed will surely help rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer expand the field.
“He’s a burner,” said Kizer, who has cut down on turnovers lately. “He is going to allow us to push the ball down the field vertically and everyone knows that, but just to add more playmakers to this team is never going to hurt us. We were getting in a little rhythm with the guys that we had and to add someone else to that rhythm is going to be a big benefit for us.”
Coleman’s return is a welcomed respite in a season devoid of much positive news for the Browns.
“I love to see him back,” left guard Joel Bitonio said Thursday. “I know he was disappointed he got banged up earlier in the year. It’s an unfortunate injury. And he’s been practicing hard and working hard and you’ve seen him around the building studying and stuff. I think he’s ready to come back and make a name for himself.
“Anytime you bring back someone like Corey, it brings a little jolt to the offense. And just seeing him in the huddle this week has got me excited.”
Coleman still has to prove to the Browns that he can be durable and consistent. After he returned from his injury last season, Coleman made only 26 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown in his final eight games.
That’s not nearly enough production for a No. 1 wide receiver, which is why coach Hue Jackson challenged Coleman in the offseason to do more.
The most recent injury was a setback, but Coleman is determined to make up for lost time.
“I’m trying to do as much as I can to help us get a win,” he said. “It’s been a long wait. I’ve got to go out there and make plays and do my job.”
To Jackson, that’s helping Kizer.
“By making plays, creating a little bit more separation, go up and make plays on the ball when need be,” Jackson said. “You have to make some of those uncommon catches in games at times. Hopefully, Corey can provide that for us.”
NOTES: To make room for Coleman, the Browns waived WR Kasen Williams, who made just nine catches for 84 yards after he was claimed off waivers in September. … The team also waived DB Ibraheim Campbell from injured reserve and RB Terrence Magee was signed from the practice squad to Atlanta’s active roster. … Starting C JC Tretter (shoulder, knee, quad) and RT Shon Coleman (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day, but Jackson has not ruled them out of Sunday’s game.
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