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Notes: DE Emmanuel Ogbah ruled out, LB Christian Kirksey questionable with ankle injuries

BEREA — Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (ankle) was ruled out for the game Sunday against the Saints, and coach Hue Jackson said Chris Smith or Anthony Zettel would start in his place. Both will play.

Zettel was claimed off waivers late last week and was inactive for the opener. He started 16 games for the Lions last year and had 6.5 sacks.

Jackson said there’s a chance Ogbah could be ready for the next game against the Jets on Thursday night. He was injured in the opener against the Steelers but avoided the dreaded high ankle sprain that can sideline a player for six weeks.

** The quick turnaround may affect the decision to play or sit linebacker Christian Kirksey (ankle) against the Saints. He was limited all week in practice and listed as questionable on the injury report.


“I want to work through that the right way because we have another game that is really close,” Jackson said.

James Burgess would likely get the start if Kirksey’s inactive, with Jamie Collins assuming a bigger role in nickel packages. Burgess missed last week with his first concussion.

“It’s your brain. It’s nothing that you play with,” he said. “Once that’s gone, then you’re pretty much senseless. It’s very, very scary.”

** The rest of the Browns are expected to play, including cornerback E.J. Gaines, who missed the opener as he recovered from a knee sprain suffered in training camp.

** For the Saints, defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (foot) was ruled out.


Middle linebacker Joe Schobert is usually mild-mannered but he got fired up talking about the league’s emphasis this year on penalizing defenders for landing on quarterbacks with most or all of their weight.

“An offensive lineman pancakes somebody, they’re landing way more weight, 300 pounds, on corners or linebackers. That is football, that happens,” Schobert said. “So why is it a penalty to land with your body weight on somebody? Because Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone last year? It’s football. We play football.”

Defensive end Myles Garrett was penalized for landing on Roethlisberger, then the next day the league’s head of officiating said it shouldn’t have been called. Schobert said he can’t afford to be thinking about the possible penalty while playing.

“Hopefully I don’t weigh enough where they’ll call it a penalty anyway,” the 245-pounder said. “Maybe the D-ends will have to make it a learned skill. But there’s a point where you can’t be thinking about too much stuff that slows you down to play the game, because then you’ll miss a sack.”


Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said there’s no bad blood between him and Saints coach Sean Payton.

Williams was Payton’s coordinator in New Orleans for three years, helping the Saints win their only Super Bowl. But Williams was at the root of the Bountygate scandal that got Payton suspended by the league for the 2012 season.

“Sean and I are very good friends,” Williams said. “Sean is, if not one of the best, the best coach I have ever had a chance to work with. He and I are friends for life. We will walk together for life with a Super Bowl trophy.”

Williams’ previous return to New Orleans was in 2016 with the Rams, and Payton called a receiver option pass in the fourth quarter as the Saints scored 49 in a blowout win.

“Sean is looking to score the ball every time he has the ball,” Williams said. “That is our job, and there is no ‘run the score up’ in the National Football League.”

Burgess said it’s tough to tell if Williams is taking the matchup personally.

“I don’t think he can get more fired up than he is,” he said. “He’s always on 100. He’s always turned up to the max.”


Schobert saw the end zone ahead and thought his fumble return in overtime was about to beat the Steelers.

“Especially after I made the tight end miss, I thought I was going to score,” he said.

But rookie linebacker Genard Avery, who started the play with a strip-sack of Roethlisberger, ran alongside Schobert celebrating rather than blocking, and center Maurkice Pouncey tripped up Schobert.

“He would have scored. I really do believe that,” Williams said. “We had it set up pretty good. We could have turned and blocked one more person. We did not.”


Special teams coordinator Amos Jones said rookie receiver Antonio Callaway is still on a learning curve as a punt returner, which is why safety Jabrill Peppers replaced him this week as the primary returner.

“Coach made that decision,” Jones said, referring to Jackson. “Obviously we are going to stick behind it as coaches. We are going to do what the hell we are told.”

** Steelers Artie Burns was fined $13,369 for unsportsmanlike conduct for taking off his helmet after he threw receiver Jarvis Landry to the ground last week.

** Peppers started at strong safety against the Steelers but was limited to 35 of 84 snaps (42 percent). A rotation with Derrick Kindred was planned, but Peppers missed extra time because he cramped up.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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