As the AFC North race tightens up down the final stretch of the NFL season, teams within the division are attempting to get as many able hands on deck as possible. The Cincinnati Bengals are dealing with a couple injuries of their own to a couple of defensive mainstays, but it appears that the Browns have been dealt another blow on their injury front as well.
According to reports, veteran wide receiver Miles Austin will be out for the remainder of the 2014 season. Browns head coach released a public statement about the injury on Wednesday:
"Miles sustained a kidney injury in Buffalo and remains in the hospital," coach Mike Pettine explained in a statement. "Our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery. Miles is a guy who embodies what 'Play like a Brown' means and instills that in our receiving corps."
Austin was added via free agency after the draft this offseason, and signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Cleveland. He provided some stability to a receiving corps that was set to miss Josh Gordon for 10 games because of a suspension. Austin became the possession receiver for Brian Hoyer, securing 34 first downs on his 47 catches in 2014. The eight-year man had five catches for 48 yards against Cincinnati in their Week 10 match-up on Thursday Night Football.
Gordon has returned from suspension, so the Browns will be moving forward with him at wide receiver, along with former Bengals speedster Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, and Taylor Gabriel, who has been a pleasant surprise for the club this season.