Higgins (illness) will not return Sunday against the Bengals, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports. Higgins was active, but he never took the field Sunday. Anthony Schwartz and Ja'Marcus Bradley should continue to see extra snaps for the remainder of the game.
Higgins caught one of five targets for eight yards in Monday's 26-14 loss to Pittsburgh. Higgins' late-season revival continued, as the wide receiver has been targeted at least five times in each of the last three games. The poor catch rate Monday was more about beleaguered quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was inaccurate and hounded by the Steelers' defense, which had nine sacks and hit the QB another 11 times. It's unclear how the Browns will operate in their final game of the regular season next week against Cincinnati. There could be value in giving rookie Anthony Schwartz a greater role at the expense of Higgins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022.
Higgins caught five of six targets for 58 yards in Week 16's 24-22 loss to Green Bay on Saturday. Higgins led all of Cleveland players in receiving yards and was heavily involved in the passing attack for the second consecutive week. He had a 65 percent share of the snaps, behind Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and for the second straight week out-snapped rookie Anthony Schwartz. It was unclear if Higgins involvement in Week 15 was the result of a COVID-19 outbreak among the team's receiving options (wideouts and tight ends), but it appears he's reclaimed a role for himself. He's caught eight of 11 targets for 82 yards over the last two games.
Higgins and the Browns will no longer play the Raiders on Saturday, after the NFL officially rescheduled the matchup between the two teams for Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Due to ongoing COVID-19-related issues within the Cleveland organization, the NFL is hopeful that by delaying the game two days, the Browns will restore enough players from the reserve/COVID-19 list to alleviate depth concerns on the roster. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Higgins and Ja'Marcus Bradley are currently the top three available receivers on the roster heading into the Week 15 matchup, but all would be pushed down a spot in the pecking order if Jarvis Landry (illness) is able to clear all COVID-19-related protocols before Monday.
Higgins (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday at Baltimore, Anthony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports. Even with rookie third-round pick Anthony Schwartz sidelined with a concussion, the Browns have elected to make Higgins a healthy scratch. This could be Higgins' reality moving forward due to his meager results this season (15-185-1 line on 31 targets in 11 games). With Higgins and Schwartz inactive, Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin), Ja'Marcus Bradley and JoJo Natson will compose the team's group of wide receivers in Week 12.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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