Left tackle Jedrick Wills downplayed his drag racing citation on Twitter and receiver Rashard Higgins joked about his, but coach Kevin Stefanski thought the incident was serious enough to bring up to the rest of the players.
“We have addressed it. I have addressed it with the team,” Stefanski said Wednesday. “I will leave it at that.”
The players’ lawyers entered not guilty pleas by letter Wednesday to Rocky River Municipal Court, a day after Wills and Higgins were stopped at about 9:30 in the morning on Crocker Road north of Center Ridge Road in Westlake. The area was identified as a work zone in the court filing.
“The two vehicles took off together side by side at a fast rate heading North on Crocker and were racing each other,” stated the expanded Westlake Police report, which was obtained by The Chronicle-Telegram on Wednesday. “The two operators were cited for Drag Racing. The one operator had his vehicle searched from PC (probably cause) based on the smell of marijuana. A suspected marijuana joint was located on him. That item was destroyed and the subject was given a warning. They were released from the scene.”
Higgins was the player with the suspected marijuana.
The initial arraignment date was Jan. 19 but will be changed, according to Kevin Spellacy, Higgins’ attorney.
“Foot slipped srry,” Higgins tweeted Tuesday.
He then tweeted “Was Tryna get away from Covid,” before quickly deleting both.
The Browns play the Steelers on Sunday night in the first round of the playoffs. During the players’ off day Tuesday, the organization was consumed with a COVID-19 outbreak. Stefanski, left guard Joel Bitonio, receiver KhaDarel Hodge, tight ends coach Drew Petzing and defensive backs coach Jeff Howard tested positive and won’t participate Sunday.
Wills defended his actions.
“So nobody has ever tried to beat someone off the line at a red light for a max 30 meters?” he tweeted. “Ight.. Blowing it way out of proportion. Ik y’all road ragers have”
Wills was the No. 10 pick out of the University of Alabama in April. He’s started 15 games.
Walt Edwards, Wills’ attorney, asked that people “reserve judgment” until the case is concluded.