BEREA — The defense will be without one of its best players and most important pieces as it tries to rebound from the shredding it received Sunday in the 38-14 loss to the Chargers.
Pro Bowl middle linebacker Joe Schobert will miss multiple games after injuring his hamstring in the third quarter. Coach Hue Jackson said he’ll be “week to week.”
“He will be down for a little while,” he said. “Hamstrings are tricky. Some last longer. Some end up shorter. We will see how all of that unfolds.”
Schobert had played every defensive snap since the start of the 2017 season and tied for the NFL lead last season with 144 tackles.
He went to the Pro Bowl in his second season last year and was off to a strong start again. He had three tackles and a half-sack Sunday, giving him a team-high 49 tackles with 1.5 sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
The Browns went to overtime in three of their first five games, but Jackson said the extra work didn’t lead to the injury.
“We did look at all the data from that. That is not the issue at all,” he said.
Christian Kirksey is expected to move inside to fill in for Schobert, but Jackson wasn’t ready to commit to that. James Burgess would’ve been an option but he injured a hamstring in the fourth quarter after replacing Schobert and is “week to week.” Rookie fifth-round pick Genard Avery would likely take Kirksey’s spot.
“We will have some answers there,” Jackson said. “We feel good that we will still be able to put a really good defense out there that can play well.”
The defense took plenty of lumps against the Chargers, allowing five touchdowns and 449 yards, including 246 on the ground.
Former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, 30, will work out for the Browns on Tuesday, a league source confirmed to The Chronicle-Telegram. He’s a four-time first-team All-Pro and started 15 games last season with San Francisco and Oakland.
Schobert was asked about his snap streak a couple of weeks ago.
“There’s a lot of luck involved in terms of injuries or whatever you could get during the game,” he said. “I like playing a lot. I always like playing in the game because I feel I can get into my groove and once you can get in that groove you can maintain it.”
Center JC Tretter (ankle) left the locker room Monday in a walking boot. Jackson labeled him “week to week” and said he might miss practice time but didn’t rule him out for the game against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
** Undrafted rookie receiver Derrick Willies had surgery Monday morning to repair a fractured collarbone. Willies, who was placed on injured reserve Saturday, remains a candidate to return before the end of the season.
** Jackson said rookie receiver Damion Ratley is fine after landing on his back after a catch.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield tweaked an ankle when he slipped on the plastic first-down marker on a first-quarter scramble. He was hobbled but stayed in the game and Jackson said he’s “fine.”
Mayfield’s struggles went beyond the sore ankle.
“There were some times where he could have gotten the ball out of his hands a little sooner,” Jackson said. “There were some times where we might have had a guy running underneath where he could have got the ball to him and maybe he could not have seen him.
“We just have to continue to create more throwing lanes for him. He has to be able to see it, understand the offense and all of the little things that we are trying to accomplish. He will get there.”
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said their focus was on keeping Mayfield in the pocket. He was sacked five times and made few plays on the move.
“They did a better job than some other teams,” Jackson said. “We can do some things better so that when Baker needs an escape route that there will be one there for him.
“There is going to be tape built now on Baker and how to defend him. That comes along with the territory.”
STILL GOT IT
New receiver Breshad Perriman was considered a burner when the Ravens drafted him with the 26th pick in 2015. After a series of knee and hamstring injuries, he said he hasn’t lost a step.
“My speed’s not going nowhere,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in my speed still. Even after all the injuries. I’ve never been worried about that part.”
Perriman missed his rookie year with a knee injury, then caught 43 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns in the next two seasons. He was cut by Baltimore after this preseason.
He worked out for the Browns on Saturday after the Willies injury and was signed.
“It could be a great chapter of my story,” he said. “I’m really excited to be here. I know this can be a huge blessing for me, and I know it will be.”
Perriman was inactive Sunday and said he planned to study the playbook when the interview was over. He hopes to get up to speed enough to play against Tampa Bay.
“I’m kind of new to this whole process, but I’m up to the challenge,” he said. “I’m just going to go out and do my part, just try to get this playbook down, and hopefully it comes to me this Sunday and I’ll be ready.”
Jackson said the Browns shouldn’t have been awarded a safety when Chargers left tackle Russell Okung was penalized for holding defensive end Myles Garrett near the goal line in the first quarter.
“No, I think that was happening a little bit before him being in the end zone,” he said.
** Jackson repeated his weekly refrain regarding his rookie running back.
“We do need to give Nick Chubb more carries,” he said. “There is nothing else to say.”
Chubb had three carries for 25 yards, raising his season totals to 16 for 173 and two touchdowns.
** Jackson said he was disappointed several players, including Garrett, receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Duke Johnson, left the locker room after the game without talking to reporters.
“When we played well, everybody stayed,” he said. “When you do not play well, do not run. There is nothing to run from.”