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Published: Sunday, September 24, 2017 @ 4:36 PM
INDIANPOLIS — Jacoby Brissett needed one game to really get acclimated to running the Colts’ offense.
On Sunday, he showed how much he’s picked up in three short weeks.
The quarterback, acquired from New England in a Sept. 2 trade, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another then watched the defense hold off Cleveland’s late charge for a 31-28 victory — Indy’s first of the season.
“Another week, you get a lot more comfortable,” Brissett said. “You get to learn from the mistakes you make. I was a lot more, at ease, I would say. It’s something I’m still getting used to, but it definitely felt a lot more comfortable today.”
Perfect? Not by a longshot.
But unlike a week ago, Brissett avoided making any big mistakes and he managed to get in sync with his wide receivers.
The timing looked better, the throws went deeper and Brissett made key plays almost every time he got the chance. He wound up 17 of 24 with 259 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions while running five times for 14 yards.
And on a day that began with fans booing more than two dozen players who took a knee during the national anthem and ended with the Colts barely hanging on, coach Chuck Pagano walked away with a sense of relief.
“Loved how we started this football game,” he said. “Any time you can put 28 points on the board in the first half and get a bunch of three-and-outs on defense and get three takeaways and you can close it out, we need to do a better job of that.”
With the win, Indy (1-2) avoids its first 0-3 start since 2011.
For Cleveland (0-3), the struggles continue.
The Browns have lost 28 of their past 30 overall and 15 consecutive on the road, even after entering the game as a road favorite for the first time since 2012.
Cleveland had opportunities — scoring two TDs in the final seven minutes before forcing a punt and getting the ball back at their 9-yard line with 23 seconds to go.
But Rashaan Melvin snuffed out two other scoring chances by picking off DeShone Kizer, who was intercepted again on the game’s final play — a desperation heave toward midfield.
“We’re tired of being short. Nobody’s down,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said.
Brissett was the difference.
After acknowledging he spent his first two weeks with the team learning new names, new faces and a new playbook, Brissett got the scoring started with a perfectly timed quarterback draw. The 5-yard TD run made it 7-0.
On Indy’s next series, he broke a 7-7 tie by spinning away from the Browns’ pressure and scooting 7 yards for another score.
T.Y. Hilton followed that with a nifty 61-yard catch-and-run to make it 21-7, one of his seven catches for 153 yards. Frank Gore’s 4-yard TD run extended the lead to 28-87 and forced the Browns to play catch-up the rest of the day.
The Browns got a 19-yard TD run from Duke Johnson Jr. and two TD passes from Kizer — a 1-yarder to David Njoku just before halftime and an 11-yarder to Kenny Britt — before Kizer scored on a 1-yard plunge with 2:04 left to cut the deficit to 31-28.
Browns: No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett missed his third straight game with an injured ankle and linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. sat out with a concussion. Johnson left briefly in the first half but returned in the second half.
Browns: Isaiah Crowell ran 12 times for 44 yards, and Johnson had six catches for 81 yards. Kizer was 22 of 47 for 242 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:15 PM
— UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.
The Cleveland Browns selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick after taking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall.
The New York Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley second, and the New York Jets picked USC quarterback Sam Darnold third.
This is the second time in three years an Ohio State player has gone in the top four picks after San Diego took Joey Bosa third in 2016.
The Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the NFL Draft tonight.
The Browns also own the fourth pick in the draft and will be back on the clock in about an half hour.
This is the third time since 2012 the Browns have drafted a quarterback in the first round. They selected Johnny Manziel 22nd overall in 2014 and Brandon Weeden 22nd overall in 2012. The team picked DeShone Kizer in the second round last year and took Cody Kessler in the third round in 2016.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:47 AM
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez returned from the disabled list and to the lineup Thursday afternoon for the finale of a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park.
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Suarez suffered a broken right thumb when he was hit by a pitch April 8 in Pittsburgh. He missed 16 games.
“I feel so excited to be back this quick,” Suarez said. “I feel great right now. I’m a little nervous, but I think it’s normal. I’ll be all right. I feel good. My thumb has no pain at all, so that’s why I’m here today.”
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Suarez made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday and Wednesday. He went 1-for-5.
The Reds also called up infielder/outfielder Rosell Herrera, 25, from Triple-A. He will make his big-league debut when he plays. The Dominican Republic native hit .311 in 15 games with Louisville.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:25 PM
The Cincinnati Bengals continued the rebuild of their offensive line by selecting Ohio State center Billy Price with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft tonight.
Price suffered a pectoral injury at the NFL Combine, creating doubt about how far his draft stock would plummet, but all indications are he will be ready for training camp, if not sooner.
Price said he was hopeful to hear his name called in the first round but was still stunned when the phone call came.
“I sat there and looked at my phone,” he said. ” I looked at my agent and said, ‘Holy (crap). It’s Cincinnati.’ He’s like ‘Well, you’ve got to answer the phone.’
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now,” Price added. “I’m oozing with emotions right now because this is exactly what I wanted in this draft, for me to be able to go as high as possible and to stay home in Ohio, to stay in the midwest and to bring the brand of Ohio State football down to Cincinnati and to completely be able to do everything, all my hopes and dreams for the NFL.”
Last month the Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, who is expected to start at left tackle. And Price will enter camp as a projected starter after the Bengals let four-year starter Russell Bodine leave for Buffalo in free agency.
“My goal is to finish up my career at Ohio State and transition to the NFL and set this league on fire from Day 1,” Price said. “It’s that expectation to go and earn a starting job, to compete from Day 1, to be that plug-and-play player at center or guard or whatever the team wanted. There’s a lot of pride coming with me. I have sky high expectations for myself.”
Price is the fourth center the Bengals have selected in the first round, joining Bob Johnson (1968), Blair Bush (1978) and Dave Rimington (1983).
Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, whom the Bengals also were high on, went 20th the Detroit Lions, one pick before the Bengals.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:41 PM
— The newest Cincinnati Red is Rosell Herrera.
Here are five things to know about him after his call-up Thursday to replace veteran Cliff Pennington on the team’s bench.
1. He is a native of the Dominican Republic.
The Rockies signed Herrera in 2009 when he was 16, and he was named Colorado’s No. 12 prospect by Baseball America a year later.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is a switch hitter who throws right-handed.
2. He was the South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player in 2013.
Herrera moved up to the No. 3 spot in the organization in 2013 when he hit 16 home runs and stole 21 bases while posting a .933 OPS for the Asheville Tourists (Single-A).
After putting up modest numbers in advanced Single-A in 2014 and ’15, he had solid seasons in Double-A and Triple-A in ’16 and ’17, respectively, but never got a call up to the major leagues.
3. The Reds signed Herrera to a minor-league contract last November and invited him to spring training.
He was not among MLB.com's top 30 Reds prospects in the system at the start of the year but hit .267 with an .890 OPS during spring training.
He hit two home runs, a double and a triple in 30 at-bats in Arizona.
4. He has been Triple-A Louisville’s best offensive player so far this season.
Herrera has played 15 games for the Bats, batting a team-high .311 with a .980 OPS. He has paced Louisville in homers (three) and triples (two) while sharing the team lead in doubles (five) and RBIs (10).
He’s also committed three errors.
5. He should bring some versatility.
Herrera began his career as an infielder but added outfielder to his resume in 2015.
This season he has played shortstop, third base, second base and all three outfield spots for Louisville.Follow @marcushartman