The Cleveland Browns defense will be receiving a much needed shot in the arm this week with activation of Terrance Mitchell off of the IR. Mitchell suffered a fractured forearm back in week four against the Oakland Raiders. At the time of the injury, he was playing the best football of his five-year career.
When John Dorsey was collecting veteran defensive backs this last off-season Mitchell was an after-thought. Although he was coming off his best season as a professional in Kansas City, where he finished with four interceptions, the other two cornerbacks that Dorsey brought in, E.J. Gaines and T.J. Carrie, were both more coveted.
From the beginning of training camp, it was evident that Money Mitch came to play. He quickly rose up the depth chart and was starting opposite Denzel Ward almost immediately. Along with Damarious Randall, the Browns defensive backfield was solidified.
The off-season makeover that Dorsey orchestrated was truly impressive. With Gaines and Carrie providing depth, what was once a weak point was now a strength.
To start the season the defensive backs were causing turnovers at a record pace, with Mitchell causing three himself in the first three games. Then came the injury. Suddenly the depth began to dissipate.
Gaines has since been placed on the IR due to multiple concussions, and Carrie has played up and down as the starter. Randall has even had to come down from his free safety position to play cornerback in some spots.
Terrance Mitchell has been one of the best players on the Cleveland Browns defense, but a fractured forearm will force the coaches to make a decision on his replacement.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell left Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders early due to a fractured forearm.
Mitchell has been one of the best players on the defense this season. His physical style of play has made it hard for opposing offenses, especially considering his knack for forcing fumbles. On the season, Mitchell has made 19 total tackles, two forced fumbles, one interception, three passes defended.
After bouncing around teams at the start of his career, general manager John Dorsey decided to sign Mitchell to a three-year, $10 million contract this off-season. Seen as a depth player, Mitchell made play after play to earn the starting job. And he continued to play well during the season, creating a great duo with Denzel Ward.
With Mitchell expected to be out for the rest of the season, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the rest of the Browns coaching staff now need to find a way to replace Mitchell’s production.
The Browns secondary seemed like a strength heading into the season. After drafting Ward and signing Mitchell, E.J. Gaines, and T.J. Carrie, the Browns built good depth at cornerback. Add in Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and the Browns cornerbacks seemed lethal.
Cleveland Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell could miss the remainder of the 2018 season after suffering a broken forearm in Sunday’s 45-42 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Mitchell was carted off the field after hurting his arm when defending a Derek Carr pass intended for Jordy Nelson. The Browns moved E.J. Gaines to Mitchell’s spot in the defense.
“We had to move some guys around,” head coach Hue Jackson told reporters. “Had some guys do some things they hadn’t done in a while. But that’s pro football.”
Mitchell signed a three-year contract with the Browns this offseason. He had 19 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception through the first four games.
Gaines will see a majority of the work outside with Mitchell on the shelf. Rookie Denzel Ward will also have an uptick in responsibility, while T.J. Carrie moves into the third corner slot.
As a team, the Browns have picked off seven passes and rank fifth in passer rating against (79.5).