Myles Garrett to miss season opener with high ankle sprain

Jan 1 2017 Pittsburgh PA USA Pittsburgh Steelers center B.J. Finney prepares to snap the ball against the Cleveland Browns defense during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With Myles Garrett out indefinitely with an ankle sprain, the Browns say they're taking a next-man-up approach until the rookie defensive end and first overall pick returns to the field.

Though the Steelers had one of the better offenses in the league last season (one of just seven teams to rank among the NFL's top 10 in yards per game, yards per play and points per game), it wasn't due to their play on first down. He suffered a left foot injury in minicamp with the Browns in June and had to wear a walking boot.

Garrett had gone through camp and the preseason healthy and was slated to be a big part of what the Browns hope will be a much-improved defense.

This is somewhat worrisome because Garrett also had a similar injury during his final season at Texas A&M. While Myles Garrett is out with an ankle injury, S Jabril Peppers and several others with very little starting experience will be playing prominent roles on Sunday. The Mid-American Conference (MAC) might not have the prestige of the Big 12, but it was once home to three times as many current Steelers and some of the most popular names on the roster in Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison and Antonio Brown. However, he turned them all down because he wanted to play for Pittsburgh, who will be paying him $7 million this year. Sixth-round draft picks appear to do well in Pittsburgh, coming in a respectable fourth overall and just behind second-round draft picks with eight names. He just loves the game and loves getting after it.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is offering no guarantees he'll play beyond this fall.

If Garrett can not play against Pittsburgh, Carl Nassib figures to be the next man up, with Nate Orchard taking his spot as the third end in the rotation. I know they're always up for the challenge.

Brown said, "He has been a great teammate and a true asset to the Cleveland community". "As long as I do that the coaches, the play, everything is going to go along wth it".

"Things happen within the family", he said. "He wouldn't be the first, he was not the first or the last person to talk about trying to get me". "We will keep it within the family, move forward and we will work on winning".

Meanwhile, Browns fans, who were right to feel the organization was finally in the process of turning things around, are understandably apoplectic by the Garrett news. Martavis Bryant hasn't played a regular season game in almost two years. Pittsburgh has won four straight over Cleveland, going 3-0-1 against the spread in those four contests.

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