‘Very big week’: Stefanski talks Browns injuries, plans for improvement going into bye

Sports

BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — Following a frustrating game in Baltimore, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spoke to the media Monday confirming that offensive tackle Jack Conklin is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

“I feel for Jack,” Stefanski said, confirming the star player who had just come back from an elbow injury is going to need surgery.

While the Browns are getting some much-needed rest this week, after winning six games and losing six games so far this season, there is much to discuss regarding plans for improvement, especially on the offensive side of things, Stefanski confirmed.

“This is a very, very big week for the football team,” Stefanski said, explaining plans to refresh and regroup after the recent 16-10 loss.

Guard Joel Bitonio and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah also spoke with the media Monday, both staying as positive as possible when asked about last night’s difficulties.

“It is a little late in the year, but I think guys are going to take the time to get healthy,” Bitonio said of the bye week. “Hopefully we can find a way to take care of business this last quarter of the season.”

The players and head coach also all said they had confidence in Baker Mayfield, despite his injuries.

“Great competitor, just as good as any other quarterback in the league,” Owusu-Koramoah said of Mayfield.

Next up, the Browns play the 8-3 Baltimore Ravens again, this time in Cleveland, on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m.

LIVE BLOG:

  • Offensive tackle Jack Conklin is out for the rest of the season with knee injury, Stefanski said. He will have to get surgery. His time table is not known.
  • “This is a very, very big week for the football team,” Stefanski said, explaining his plans to figure things out with his team.
  • “There are a bunch of things we can do better,” he said.
  • On using the run game: “We still have confidence in our run game … we weren’t really efficient last night … ultimately we didn’t have enough opportunities to let our run game come through us,” he said.
  • Going into the final five games: “I think [Baker] will be feeling ready to go.”
  • “Baker is our starting quarterback,” Stefanski made clear when asked why he wasn’t considering making the switch to Case Keenum during this bye week.
  • “I’m responsible for everything that goes on … out there on the field. Want to give our guys the best chance moving forward,” he said.
  • Guard Joel Bitonio said it is tough to lose Conklin after he battled back from an elbow injury.
  • On the team’s 1-0 mantra, Bitonio said it is still important. “It’s the NFL, it’s hard,” he said.
  • “It is a little late in the year, but I think guys are going to take the time to get healthy,” he said. “Hopefully we can find a way to take care of business this last quarter of the season.”
  • “I know we have the right guys in this building,” Bitonio made clear. “We are confident in [Baker].”
  • Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah said the defense could always do better, saying that quarterback Lamar Jackson was tough to go up against.
  • Owusu-Koramoah said his ankle felt good at some points and that he needed to push through at other points.
  • “Great competitor, just as good as any other quarterback in the league,” Owusu-Koramoah said of Mayfield.

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