Higgins injured his knee during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 12-9 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens. The victory improved the Browns to 2-2-1 and snapped their 18-game winless streak in the AFC North.
The 24-year-old Higgins will miss the team’s next two games, a home contest against the Los Angeles Chargers as well as a road tilt versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Higgins had three catches for 66 yards against the Ravens, including a 19-yard touchdown reception. He has 16 receptions and 244 yards this season.
“He played well, obviously he was doing some really good things,” Jackson said. “We’ll miss him until we get him back. He’s been very consistent for our football team.”
Derrick Willies stepped up in Higgins’ absence and had three receptions for 61 yards — including a 39-yard gain that set up the game-winning field goal in overtime.
“We have some good candidates here,” Jackson said. “We’ll see how that unfolds as we go through the day. … I feel like these guys know our system, know exactly what we’re looking for and practice the way we do.”
The Browns had a workout set up for Monday with former Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Matthews had just three receptions for 11 yards in three games before asking for — and receiving — his release from the Titans last month. The 28-year-old signed a one-year extension with a base value of $7.5 million in August.
Sunday’s victory over the Ravens was the first for Baker Mayfield as the Browns’ starting quarterback. Jackson thinks some of the team’s resilience stems from him.
“There is no question he has a lot to do with it,” Jackson said, “but I think just the team in general [is resilient].
“I think to a man, nobody ever worries about the situation we are in. We are just going to play it through. I think that is where Baker has stepped in because I think there is a belief in what he does. I think there is a belief in how he goes about his work and his business as the quarterback of this football team. I think it is all working together.”
Jackson noted Mayfield has been effective in not staring down his intended receiver, looking elsewhere first to deceive defensive backs.
“He has done a really good job that way,” Jackson said. “As you go through these games, people are going to start filling a book up on him a little bit, but I think he has done a really good job of making sure he is not looking directly where he is throwing and not tipping anything.”
K Greg Joseph made the game-winning 37-yard field goal in overtime, but it was an ugly, low kick that barely made it through. It looked as though somebody might have touched it, but Jackson does not think so.
“When you look at it really closely, it does not look like it,” Jackson said.
Joseph, who was signed on Sept. 18 to replace Zane Gonzalez, missed an extra point and a 55-yard field-goal attempt earlier in the game. He had made all six of his previous field-goal attempts and all three prior extra points.
Asked whether the Browns will look for another kicker to replace Joseph, Jackson said, “We will always find ways to improve the football team as we move forward. Right now, he is our kicker until he is not.”
QB Baker Mayfield passed for a career-high 342 yards to go along with a touchdown and an interception on 25-of-43 passing Sunday. The first overall pick in this year’s draft now has 838 yards passing, three touchdowns and three picks in three games and two starts.
Rookie CB Denzel Ward had two key plays Sunday. The first was an interception as Cleveland’s defense faced a second-and-goal in the second quarter. The second was a blocked kick before halftime.
Linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey led the Browns with 12 tackles apiece on Sunday.
RB Nick Chubb gained just two yards on three carries on Sunday after running for 105 yards on just three attempts the previous week. Head coach Hue Jackson said after Chubb’s big game against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 30 that he should get more carries. He wound up with the same number of rushing attempts and a lot less production.