Odell Beckham Jr. did not. Neither did Jarvis Landry.
Or any other catcher in the last eight years.
Amari Cooper became the first Browns wide receiver since Josh Gordon in 2013 with consecutive 100-yard games. Gordon had four in a row.
Anthony Walker Jr. to miss rest of season with torn quad tendon
Cooper had seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown Thursday night in a 29-17 win over the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. He had nine receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Jets.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) September 23, 2022
“I did not know that. I guess that’s cool,” he said after the game that ended the franchise’s drought. “That 100-yard mark is like the standard for a receiver to have a good game in the eyes of everyone else. I just come here and really do my job. Do what we practice, do what I practice, do what the coaches ask me to do and continue to show that I can open up and be productive for the team.”
Quarterback sneak peek: Jacoby Brissett collecting first downs, seizing the opportunity, playing winning football
Cooper hadn’t posted consecutive 100-yard games since Weeks 5 and 6 in 2016 with the Raiders. He leads the Browns with 19 receptions and 219 receiving yards.
“I’m trying to find new ways to tell you how impressed I am with the No. 2,” trainer Kevin Stefanski said. “He is very, very smart. He is a great teammate. He runs every route imaginable: tilts, go balls, double moves or whatever he is. I just think he’s very versatile.
“He is a great physical catcher. Trustworthy. I really enjoy No. 2.”
Cooper and quarterback Jacoby Brissett have developed a chemistry and credit for hard work.
“He’s a great player, a great teammate, a guy who will give you everything,” Brissett said. “Obviously you see the things he’s doing in the passing game, but in the running game, he’s defending himself. You don’t see much of that on a lot of No. 1 receivers.
“I am sure that he will want to continue to improve more and more. I really want to continue growing with him.”
Cooper’s night could have been even better, but he dropped two passes and inadvertently went out of bounds to nullify a long catch and run.
“I know better than that,” he said. “I guess he was caught up in the moment because he just wanted the ball now. In those kinds of scramble plays where the defense doesn’t get cast, you only have a small amount of time to get the ball and run it. I saw the corner getting closer and closer to me so I was just trying to get further and further away from him. He should have been more aware, for sure.”
BACK TO IT
Jack Conklin’s last game came in prime time. It was logical that he would return under the lights.
The two-time All-Pro right tackle started for the first time since he tore his patellar tendon Nov. 28 in a Sunday night game against the Ravens. He had surgery, returned to training camp and sat out the first two games.
“I thank the team for allowing me to return to my health where I can go out tonight in full force,” Conklin said. “I felt very good and comfortable there. I couldn’t be happier with the way the team played. Great victory for the team”.
Stefanski liked what he saw.
“I thought Jack was really good,” he said. “It was great to see him back out there. He fought, he was physical, good in the running game and good in the passing game.”
Left guard Joel Bitonio played all 72 offensive snaps after missing practice Tuesday with a biceps injury. He hasn’t missed a regular-season snap since the start of the 2017 season.
“For him, getting to the game in the first place is a big deal,” Stefanski said. “He is a warrior. I thought he played physical.”
** Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (groin), left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (knee), defensive tackle Taven Bryan (hamstring) and safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (hamstring) all missed part or the whole game, but the team doesn’t. I have no long-term concerns about injuries.
Wills left with a knee injury in the second half and went to the locker room but quickly returned.
“I’m fine, I just have a little sprain, I’ll have an MRI in the morning, but I can walk fine, put pressure on it, I’m fine,” he said after the game.
James Hudson III, who started at right tackle the first two weeks, replaced Wills.
** Harrison was injured before the game and didn’t play, forcing coordinator Joe Woods to use less of the safety three package.
“We used Ronnie a lot, so it was tough when the idlers got hurt,” Stefanski said. “You have to adapt. That’s where he would give credit to the defensive personnel for adjusting and credit to the players for adjusting.”
Undrafted rookie D’Anthony Bell played eight snaps at third safety.
Browns running back Kareem Hunt and Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky exchanged jerseys after the game. They have known each other for years after growing up in northeast Ohio. Hunt played at Willoughby South and Trubisky at Mentor.
“We went back a long way,” Hunt said. “Like elementary school, football, high school, high school basketball.
“I always wish the best for him. He is a great player and also a good friend of mine, even though we went to different schools.”
Trubisky enjoyed playing in his hometown under the lights.
“It was great, really great,” he said. “It was definitely special to come home and play in front of my friends and family. It meant a lot, but we have to come out with a win next time.”
Corey Bojorquez had a punt deflected, but he also hit two inside the 10-yard line, including one with nine seconds remaining. He has a 45.5-yard gross average, a 40.0 net and six punts inside the 20-yard line in three games.
“He responded,” Stefanski said of the final punt. “First of all, the clearance unit to protect knowing that they were probably going to go after that thing and hit a beauty there, that was unbelievable.”
** Rookie Cade York missed an extra point for the second straight game, east from right. He also made two and a 34-yard field goal.
“He’ll be fine,” Stefanski said.
Stefanski is the first Browns coach since 1999 to beat the Steelers three times. He is 3-3, including the playoffs.
**The Browns used guard Hjalte Froholdt at fullback on Nick Chubb’s 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“I hope so, man,” Hunt said of seeing more of Froholdt in the backfield. “He looked good in that fullback position.”
** The Rams signed cornerback Shaun Jolly out of Cleveland’s practice squad.