Football

Former Baylor star Corey Coleman excited to return after untimely break

Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman caught seven passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games before fracturing his hand in practice. He is set to return Sunday against the Cowboys.
Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman caught seven passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games before fracturing his hand in practice. He is set to return Sunday against the Cowboys. AP

Corey Coleman’s Little League team was the Cowboys, and every year as a kid, he got a chance to play at Texas Stadium.

“We played half the field,” Coleman said in a phone interview. “It was cool.”

The Richardson Pearce and Baylor alum plays against the Cowboys on Sunday.

After missing the past six games with a fractured right hand, the Cleveland Browns rookie receiver returns to action. He can’t wait.

“It’s an exciting moment for me,” Coleman said. “I’ve just got to stay poised. I can’t get overly excited. But I’m happy I’m back and can help the team out. I’m excited to play the Cowboys, but I’m really just excited I’m back.”

I’m happy I’m back and can help the team out. I’m excited to play the Cowboys, but I’m really just excited I’m back.

Receiver Corey Coleman, the Browns’ top draft pick in 2016

Coleman caught seven passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games, including five catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2.

But Coleman fractured his hand in practice the next week.

“It was a freak accident,” Coleman said. “I was running across the middle, caught a ball and the safety came up and just tried to wrap me up and my hand got stuck.

“It was heartbreaking, but it taught me a lesson: Don’t take the game for granted because you never know when it can be the last day.”

No one is more excited about Coleman’s return than Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor. Pryor ranks 14th in the league with 41 receptions for 532 yards and three touchdowns, but has seen almost nothing but double teams in Coleman’s absence.

Through the season’s first two games, Corey Coleman had seven catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. But he fractured his hand in practice the next week and hasn’t played since.

“These past seven weeks, it’s double teams almost every play, except last week [New York Jets cornerback Darrelle] Revis played me pretty head-up the whole game,” Pryor said. “I couldn’t wait for [Coleman’s return], and he’s now back, so I’m so excited. They can’t just focus on me because Corey can burn them. I’m looking forward to that.”

Some would say Coleman’s actual bad break came when the Browns used the 15th overall pick on him. The Houston Texans had targeted Coleman with their 21st overall choice.

The Cowboys, who owned the fourth overall pick, were among the teams that had Coleman in for a visit.

“We spent a lot of time on him,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s really a fast, explosive guy. If you watch his tape from college, he made a ton of big plays for [Baylor]. I think a lot of people around the league were excited about him when he came out. He came to Valley Ranch and we spent time with him. There’s no question that he’s a guy that can change the game because of his speed and ability to make big plays.”

Coleman hasn’t lost faith in the winless Browns, hoping for a turnaround.

“We’ve got to take one step at a time,” Coleman said. “Nobody’s checked out of it. Everybody’s practicing hard and still believing.”

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

My five cents

1 Aaron Williams’ career appears in jeopardy after his latest neck injury. The Buffalo Bills safety and former Texas star went on injured reserve after a crackback block by Miami receiver Jarvis Landry. The league fined Landry $24,000 for the illegal hit. Williams missed 13 games last season due to a career-threatening neck injury.

2 Jadeveon Clowney has begun to live up to his lofty draft selection. The No. 1 overall pick of the Houston Texans in 2014 has risen to the occasion after moving into J.J. Watt’s defensive end spot. Clowney, who missed 15 games in his first two seasons with injuries, has 30 tackles, three sacks and nine tackles for loss.

3 The New York Giants might need to start thinking about finding a future franchise quarterback. Eli Manning, 35, has 190 consecutive starts, the NFL’s longest active streak, but a few years have passed since anyone called him “elite.” This season, he ranks 20th in passing touchdowns (eight) and has the ninth-most interceptions (six).

4 Jared Goff, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick, casts a shadow over Case Keenum. But, for whatever reason, the Los Angeles Rams continue to go with Keenum despite his struggles. The former University of Houston star ranks near the bottom in passer rating (77.5), has eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

5 The Bills believed they had their franchise quarterback, signing Tyrod Taylor to a five-year, $90 million extension before the season. They rank 31st in passing with a 179.4 yards per game average, with Taylor 23rd in passer rating (87.2) and 28th in yards per attempt (6.43).

 

Who’s hot

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He could surpass his career bests of 66 tackles in 2010 and 8.5 sacks in 2014.

Who’s not

Defensive end Olivier Vernon, who signed a five-year, $85 million deal in the off-season to bolster the Giants’ pass rush, has only one sack and seven hurries.

Numbers game

86 Penalties by the Oakland Raiders in eight games, a league high. In 2009, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were then-coached by Jack Del Rio, had an NFL-low 70 penalties.

2017 NFL Draft

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com gives his top-10 senior defensive ends and top-five draft-eligible underclassmen at the position for the 2017 draft:

Seniors

1. Jonathan Allen, Ala. (6-3, 292, 4.85)

2. Tim Williams, Ala. (6-3, 237, 4.76)

3. Taco Charlton, Mich. (6-5, 285, 4.87)

4. Dawuane Smoot, Ill. (6-3, 255, 4.83)

5. Chris Wormley, Mich. (6-4, 303, 4.92)

6. Takkarist McKinley, UCLA (6-2, 252, 4.81)

7. Daeshon Hall, A&M (6-5, 260, 4.77)

8. Ryan Anderson, Ala. (6-2, 253, 4.77)

9. DeMarcus Walker, Fla. St. (6-2, 273, 4.86)

10. Noble Nwachukwu, WVa. (6-2, 272, 4.87)

Draft-eligible underclassmen

1. Myles Garrett, A&M (6-5, 262, 4.64)

2. Derek Barnett, Tenn. (6-3, 268, 4.76)

3. Solomon Thomas, Stanford (6-2, 271, 4.84)

4. Carl Lawson, Auburn (6-2, 253, 4.67)

5. Charles Harris, Missouri (6-3, 255, 4.74)

Blitz

Giants right tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf) has yet to receive clearance to return to full football activities. Bobby Hart, in his second NFL season, has started the past six games for Newhouse.

Two punters are averaging more than 50 yards. SMU alum Thomas Morstead averages 50.5 yards for the Saints, and Colts punter Pat McAfee has a 50.3 average. Sammy Baugh owns the NFL record, averaging 51.4 yards for the Redskins in 1940.

Rams punter Johnny Hekker is the only NFL punter with at least 20 punts and no touchbacks.

Titans Andre Johnson retired as the NFL’s ninth-leading receiver with 1,062 catches. He ranks 10th all-time in receiving yards with 14,185.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Oct. 2.

Jets receiver Brandon Marshall leads the league with six drops, according to STATS.

Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman leads the NFL with a 38.5 completion percentage against him for players targeted at least 25 times, according to STATS. He has allowed 10 catches on 26 targets for 171 yards and one touchdown.

In the past two games, 84.5 percent of Carson Wentz’s pass attempts traveled less than 10 yards in the air, and 93.2 percent of the Eagles’ passing yards came on throws of 10 yards or less. The rookie has attempted only 24 passes of 20-plus yards, completing nine.

The Vikings’ offense has scored 20 points combined the past two games, allowing 11 sacks and 22 quarterback hits. They fell to 31st in total offense.

Chiefs quarterback Nick Foles has a 19-17 record as a starter.

Quarterbacks are completing 73.6 percent of their passes against the Lions, an NFL worst for a defense.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games.

TheChargers lead the league with 11 lost fumbles.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has taken an NFL-high 31 sacks, six more than runner-up Andy Dalton of the Bengals.

Jets running back Matt Forte has 85 carries for 282 yards and six touchdowns in three victories and 72 carries for 260 yards and no touchdowns in five losses.

Information from The Sports Xchange was used in this report.

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