There is more Hillis talk in the news today because Hillis gave the media a minute to obliterate a deceased equine. You can go find that information if you need to find it and take it out of context to somehow make it interesting.
First of all, Josh Cribbs is banged up but he was sprinting on the sidelines. The Browns could be up against it on the injury front if Cribbs can’t go this weekend in Oakland. The Browns could be without Alex Mack who had an appendectomy last week. They could also be without Joe Haden who is nursing some sort of knee injury.
There is no great option to replace Alex Mack. I think it might be John Greco. There is no telling what damage that could do to the Browns’ offense. We saw just a week ago how much the Jets struggled when Nick Mangold missed time. The center is one of those positions that you are really happy not to talk about. It seems like nothing is good when the center’s name is in your mouth.
I am even more concerned though, about what Joe Haden’s absence could do to the defensive secondary. Dimitri Patterson has been a pleasant surprise in the nickel role this season. As I have noted before, Patterson came with warnings from Eagles fans. Thus far, those warnings seem to be totally unnecessary. That could change in an instant if Patterson is thrust into primetime against Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey next weekend. This isn’t even to mention Buster Skrine potentially moving into the nickel role. Skrine was a bright spot in training camp and pre-season. Still, it would be preferable to let the Browns’ 5th rounder “season” a bit more before he is put on the field with regularity. We’ll see. Maybe they’ll have to play and they’ll be a pleasant surprise.
Other than injuries, coach Pat Shurmur indicates that Greg Little will start and see more action. He also indicates that Evan Moore will also see more action. Both of these are big news if not somewhat obviously needed adjustments. The Browns need to get consistent on offense and the sooner Pat Shurmur zeroes in on his rotations the better off the Browns will be. A steady diet of Peyton Hillis and Ben Watson along with more secondary guys like Evan Moore, Greg Little, Cribbs, Massaquoi and Hardesty sound like the Browns’ best bets.