Bess, Benjamin expected to plug gaps in Browns' lineup

5:13 AM, Sep 6, 2013   |    comments
Travis Benjamin
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BEREA, Ohio -- Two Browns wide receivers figure heavily into the team's gameplan Sunday, to plug some holes in the team's lineup.

With speedy starting WR Josh Gordon suspended for the first two games, veteran WR Davone Bess figures to play a heavy role in the starting lineup.

Normally a slot receiver, the team will need the soft hands and elusive route-running that Bess brings to the table. Cleveland traded for him during the draft this offseason from the very team they will be playing -- the Dolphins.

Bess admittedly suffered a broken back this year, likely prompting the trade to the Browns. Back to full health this year, Bess is ready to step up and says he is excited about the team's potential.

"The sky is the limit," he told reporters Thursday. "We have a great offensive coordinator in Norv [Turner], who is very highly detailed in the system. We got players who add different dynamics to the game."

"It's a young group, but guys work, guys bought into the system," he said.

One of those guys from this young group may be splitting time at wideout with Bess. Travis Benjamin told reporters this much Thursday.

Benjamin is also expected to return kicks on Sunday. The team has been looking for a dynamic player to make an impact on the kick return team since RB Dion Lewis broke his leg in the preseason.

Benjamin already is the team's punt returner and has proven his ability to take it to the house last season, with a team-record 93-yard return. He did it again, for 91 yards, this preseason.

Other players practicing returning kicks this week include CB Buster Skrine, who is nursing a new shoulder injury, as well as new running backs Dennis Johnson and Bobby Rainey.

More than likely, the team will use combinations of these players depending on situations. Skrine and Benjamin will already be featured at great length outside of the kicking game, so expect the new running backs to spell them on kickoff returns.

Of course, Bess had plenty of experience returning punts with Miami, so the Browns certainly have options in the return game as the season goes on.


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