July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Mitchell gets shot to showcase talent

Brian Dulik
The Gazette
BEREA — Carlton Mitchell has only played in six games since being picked by the Browns in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The second-year wide receiver will make it seven Sunday when Cleveland plays in San Francisco.
Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Mitchell will take the game-day roster spot of top wideout Mohamed Massaquoi, who is sidelined with a concussion.
Joshua Cribbs will get the start opposite rookie Greg Little, but the University of South Florida speedster figures to see significant time off the bench.
“There is no pressure on me at all, I feel very confident about my abilities,” Mitchell said Friday following practice. “It’s a chance for me to showcase what I was blessed with.”
In order to keep his skills sharp during the NFL lockout, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder said he purchased a JUGS machine to fire footballs at him. Though the cost of a new model ranges from $1,500-$2,500, Mitchell said it was well worth it.
“It’s probably the best investment I’ve ever made, I bought one just like we have out here,” he said.
“I was in the hallway of my condo shooting it, on the second floor of the parking garage, or out on a field somewhere. I tried to catch 1,000 balls a day, and it really helped me.”
Mitchell appeared in five games as a rookie, but his lone action this fall came on Sept. 25 against Miami. He was hampered by a broken finger in the preseason, but has been a healthy scratch for the last three contests.
Shurmur and his pupil, though, believe he is ready to contribute.
“My size and my speed are a pretty good combination,” said Mitchell, who has yet to make a reception as a professional. “It’s all about trying to help the team, trying to fill the void with Mo Mass being out.
“Whatever chance I get, I’ll take it and run with it — literally.”
Ineligible bachelor
Browns running back Peyton Hillis was married to Oklahoma native Amanda Marie Brown on Tuesday, several players confirmed. The nuptials occurred in Benton County, Ark. on the team’s off day.
Hillis, who did not practice Thursday or Friday because of a hamstring injury, was not made available to the media. His official status for the 49ers game is questionable, meaning Montario Hardesty could make his second straight start.
Hillis and former Cleveland center LeCharles Bentley are hosting a Halloween party to benefit the Boys & Girls Club.
The event takes place Monday from 6-7 p.m. at 6114 Broadway Avenue (one of the club’s Cleveland locations). Both athletes will sign autographs and pass out candy.
Injury update
Massaquoi (concussion) and defensive end Auston English (knee) were declared out by the Browns for the San Francisco game. English was hurt Thursday in practice.
Listed as questionable are Hillis, tight end Benjamin Watson (concussion), tackle Tony Pashos (ankle), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (knee), cornerback Joe Haden (knee), guard Shawn Lauvao (knee) and safety Ray Ventrone (hamstring).
Watson returned to practice Friday after taking a blow to the head five days earlier in Cleveland’s 6-3 win over Seattle. It was his second concussion this year.
“There has been a stigma in contact sports — NFL, NHL — where you play if you can’t see blood, but things are changing,” he said. “Every head injury is different, but I think the trainers do a great job taking care of us.” …
For San Francisco, wide receivers Braylon Edwards (knee) and Michael Crabtree (foot), fullback Moran Norris (fibula), cornerbacks Chris Culliver (shoulder) and Tramaine Brock (hand) and center Jonathan Goodwin (concussion) were expected to be listed as questionable.
This is his town
The parents of San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh were married in Northeast Ohio on Nov. 25, 1961, then attended the Browns/Giants game the next day at Municipal Stadium.
According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh also brought their entire wedding party to Jackie’s parents’ home — between their nuptials and reception — to watch the Ohio State/Michigan college football game on television.
Jack Harbaugh told the newspaper that he received the tickets for free because he was a local high school football coach.
“If it wasn’t for (then-Browns owner) Art Modell, we wouldn’t have had a honeymoon at all,” he said.
Numbers fun
The Browns were credited with one additional sack against the Seahawks, but allowed 3 more rushing yards, thanks to Elias Sports Bureau’s postgame film review.
Under the NFL’s increasingly liberal statistical standards, Cleveland was awarded a team sack when Seattle quarterback Charlie Whitehurst collided with running back Leon Washington and fumbled in the backfield.
The resulting 3-yard loss was initially called a rushing attempt by Whitehurst, but became sack yardage once the officials declared him down and the play dead.
Quote of the day
“It’s a classic American look. I’m trying to bring it back, especially for offensive linemen.” — Browns tackle Joe Thomas, joking about his surprisingly full Fu Manchu-like mustache.
Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.