AROUND THE HORN
Garrett proud to be a Brown
CHICAGO (AP) — The Browns are barreling toward a winless season, and defensive end Myles Garrett had a message for anyone afraid Cleveland will draft them — don’t be.
Instead, embrace the opportunity.
“Don’t be fearful, be grateful,” said Garrett, the No. 1 pick this year. “No matter where you’re picked. If you’re part of the Browns, or you’re part of Chicago, whoever you are, be grateful of the opportunity. There is no curse, there is no problem here. You got to be able to execute and finish games.”
That continues to be an issue for the Browns, who got hurt by two more interceptions by DeShone Kizer and two turnovers in the red zone on the way to a 20-3 loss to the Chicago Bears on a snowy Sunday.
The Browns fell to 1-30 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson. And if they lose at AFC North leader Pittsburgh next week, they will join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to finish 0-16.
Cancer survivor makes NFL debut
HOUSTON (AP) — Cancer survivor David Quessenberry knew all week that he’d make his NFL debut on Monday for the Houston Texans against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What he didn’t realize until before just before the game was that he’d not only play, but be one of his team’s captains.
“That surprised me,” he said. “That was really cool. I didn’t expect that. When (coach Bill O’Brien) told the team that, everyone was really excited for me, and I was, too.”
Quessenberry’s debut came on another tough day for the Texans as a 34-6 win by the Steelers gave them their fifth straight loss.
The guard was drafted by the Texans in the sixth round in 2013, but sustained a season-ending foot injury before appearing in a game. The following June he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and spent three years fighting the disease before being declared cancer free and returning to practice in May. He was cut before the season, but signed to the practice squad the next day, where he remained until his promotion this week.
“What else can you say about that guy? That guy was in tough shape not too long ago, and for him to come back and play in an NFL game is an incredible thing if you ask me,” O’Brien said. “So, I thought it was appropriate to make him a captain.”
Quessenberry struggled to put into words how special Monday was for him.
“I don’t know if I could. It was everything I dreamed of when I was going through my treatments,” he said. “Getting out there and playing a full-speed game today was exactly how I had hoped it to be.”
His teammates raved about how far he’s come since being diagnosed with the disease, and were thrilled to see him realize his dream of playing in an NFL game.
“What he went through to come out and still be able to come and be a part of this team every day like nothing happened to him, everybody feeds off his energy, honestly,” DeAndre Hopkins said. “I don’t know if he knows it, but everybody in this locker room looks up to him.”
Eagles clinch No. 1 seed in NFL
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs with a sloppy 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night.
Ronald Darby intercepted Derek Carr’s pass and ran it back 52 yards with 54 seconds left, but was ruled down by contact at the spot of the pick. Nick Foles then completed four straight passes for 21 yards. After an incomplete pass, Elliott nailed his kick right down the middle.
Derek Barnett returned a fumble for a touchdown after picking up a lateral on Oakland’s final play from scrimmage.
The Eagles (13-2) went to the Super Bowl and lost 24-21 to New England the last time they had home-field advantage following the 2004 season.
Coming off a 12-4 season, the Raiders (6-9) were a popular pick to challenge the Patriots for the AFC title. But they’ve had a disappointing season and were eliminated from the playoff chase on Sunday.