CLEVELAND BROWNS UPDATE 

lKIZER LOOKING TO LEAD; BREAKOUT FOR CROWELL? NJOKU ON A ROLL

According to Cleveland Plain Dealer staffer Mary Kay Cabot, in his first game back from his one-week benching, quarterback DeShone Kizer stepped up Friday and called a players-only offensive meeting in preparation for tomorrow’s game against the Titans.

"As I said earlier this week, it's about doing more, and that's just a small thing that we can add into the week,' Kizer told Cabot. "It's something that I think can allow us to just open up the communication line and make sure they understand what I'm thinking and make sure I understand what they're thinking.'

Kizer said with the 0-6 Browns losing three of their games by only three points, any little thing might help.

"Maybe that's the separator in a game where we were able to discuss something on Friday that we hadn't discussed all week that can allow them to get one extra step on a defender that we can be able to complete some passes,' he said.

Kizer came up with the idea this week when thinking of ways he could step up as a leader of the team.

"After sitting last week, it was something I thought we'd benefit from,' he said. "Yesterday there was a couple of things I wasn't able to meet with them about individually, so if I figure if I can bring them all together and have them all listen to it at the same time, it would be all right.'

Kizer determined that his teammates should hear some things from him instead of just the coaches.

Teammates such as fellow rookie David Njoku said they were happy that Kizer took the initiative.

"It's not easy especially in our position where we are right now,' Njoku said. "It's shows his courage and his maturity. To come into an NFL locker room and call a meeting, it's big-time and I'm excited. He's ready to turn this around and I'm 100 percent fully behind him.'

Having Njoku in his corner can't hurt Kizer.

Njoku leads the 2017 rookie class with three receiving touchdowns. He also leads the Browns in touchdowns scored through the air and is fourth among all NFL tight ends.

Meanwhile, running back Duke Johnson is a focal point of the Browns offense. He leads the team with 26 catches for 269 yards and one touchdown. He has 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground.

"Basically, it's kind of my thing is to make plays," Johnson said. "Regardless of where it is in the game, it's to make plays."

Given that, why would you be interested in any other Browns skill players?

Well. ... If you believe the Sports Xchange, and if you have a running back on a bye and need to make a move, this could be a good week to pick up Isaiah Crowell.

Crowell has had a quiet season and is still looking for his first touchdown in 2017, but the Browns rushing attack has improved steadily the last two weeks. Crowell is due for a breakout game soon. This could be the Sunday it happens.

That seems like a bit of a reach, but if you're in a bind it wouldn't be a surprise if Crowell is available.

And finally. ... It's safe to say Kenny Britt's first season hasn't gone as well as expected. Corey Coleman is again on the mend after suffering another broken hand. Neither helped their cases last weekend in Houston.

Both Britt and Coleman were sent home Sunday after missing curfew the night before Cleveland's eventual loss to Houston, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Saturday. Neither Coleman or Britt were going to play in the game due to injuries.

Even with both sidelined, head coach Hue Jackson wasn't lowering his standard for two receivers who broke curfew. The two were sent home Sunday morning, missing the game, and have since had talks with Cleveland's coaching staff after the incident and apologized, Garafolo reported.

The minor blemish is just the latest knock on Britt, who has fallen well below expectations after signing a four-year, $32.5 million deal with the Browns in March. The veteran has gone from touchdown-catching end zone tower as a member of the Los Angeles Rams to lackadaisical, pass-dropping veteran in Cleveland. Fresh off a career year of 68 catches, 1,002 yards and five touchdowns, Britt has just eight receptions for 121 yards and one touchdown in four games with Cleveland.

With each and every Sunday struggle, Britt reminds the team's jaded fanbase more of a recent disappointment at the position. Dwayne Bowe signed a two-year deal with $9 million guaranteed in 2015 and caught just five passes in his time as a Brown before he was unceremoniously released in March of 2016.

Britt is listed as questionable for tomorrow's game.

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