HC Kevin Stefanski (10.23.20)

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“I know you guys have the injury report. Just additional information on (TE) Austin Hooper, he has appendicitis so he is having surgery today – having an appendectomy. He is in good spirits. We are going to be without Austin this week.”

 

On how long Hooper will be out, not having much experience with appendectomies: 

“I do know a little bit about them. I had mine out in seventh grade. With Hoop, I do not know. He is out this week. We will update you as we get more information.”

 

On if Hooper’s surgery calls for him to be automatically placed on IR: 

“No.”

 

On if Hooper’s appendicitis flared up in the past 24 hours: 

“Exactly, yes.

 

On what the Browns TE rotation looks like with Hooper out: 

“I think we will have our three guys up – we will have (TEs) David (Njoku), Harrison and Steve (Stephen Carlson), and we will roll those guys in.”

 

On Hooper’s recent production: 

“I have said it before, any success we have had this year, he has been heavily involved. It does not always show up in the statutes as catches, but he has been very involved in our successes this season. Obviously, we will miss him, but we will hold down the fort until he gets back.”

 

On how QB Baker Mayfield looked in practice this week, including compared to last week: 

“I thought he looked good. Last week, he was limited for a bunch of those days. He was limited Wednesday but then really full go today and yesterday so he is ready to go.”

 

On video showing Mayfield’s grabbing his chest after throwing and if he notices the injury affecting Mayfield during the throw: 

“No. He is like a lot of guys – you are healthy but does not mean you are 100 percent. You are still feeling it a little bit and it can be uncomfortable, but that is not unlike a lot of guys that are battling through injuries on our roster. I give them credit for what they are doing.”

 

On confidence that Mayfield can play at a high level while still dealing with the injury and be able to heal: 

“I think he is healthy. He is not 100 percent, like talking about a lot of the guys. He is pushing through it. In Week 7, no one is feeling 100 percent. I have a ton of confidence in him. He has had a great week. I think he will be ready to go.”

 

On how Bengals HB Joe Mixon being out impacts the Browns gameplan: 

“I do not think it changes anything. We knew he was on the injury report so that was a possibility. Just have to go to school on (Bengals HB) Giovani Bernard and the rest of the group there and just understand their strengths. That is part of preparing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.”

 

On if Hooper is having the appendectomy today: 

“Yes.”

 

On if Hooper’s appendicitis was caught early enough to have a standard appendectomy: 

“Yes.”

 

On how S Karl Joseph has progressed this week and if Joseph will be a game-time decision: 

“He looked better and better each day. We are going to be cautious. It remains to be seen whether we have to work him out pregame. I will huddle up with the trainers on that decision. Just have to make sure that we are doing the right thing because those muscle injuries, you can’t just go right back to 100 miles per hour coming off of that so we have to be smart.”

 

On comfort with T Chris Hubbard at RG, particularly given Hubbard has more reps and game reps at the position: 

“Yeah, I think you can’t discount that. We worked him in at guard at times in training camp, but it was not like he was getting a ton of reps in there and then there he is right into a game versus Indy and starting the next week. All of those reps are valuable. I think it will only help him moving forward.”

 

On if he considers the second game against a division opponent more of a chess match due to the heightened familiarity: 

“I do not think so. I think sometimes these games are real close together and you really just highlight some plays off the gameplan that you had in Week 2 that you did not call that still match up. For us at least, we watched the tape of our game and then you have to see how they are evolving since we played them. Sometimes you evolve due to personnel, and sometimes your scheme grows a little bit. We are not the same team, and they are not the same team from Week 2. You have to really think about it that way and put together a gameplan that is attacking that defense for this week.”

 

On the impact on the Browns secondary if Joseph and S Ronnie Harrison Jr. both play on Sunday: 

“I think we have been fortunate to be playing a lot of guys in that back end – sometimes due to injury, which is not ideal – but guys are getting a ton of reps. We are comfortable having multiple guys out there that can do different jobs. I think versatility is such a big part of depth. I think those guys getting some reps early in the season has really paid off for us. Excited to get called Karl back out there. Another good player to add the mix.”

 

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