The Cleveland Browns (5-6) will be without starting safety Damarious Randall for Sunday’s anticipated rematch against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team announced that Randall will not be making the trip due to a coach’s decision unrelated to an injury.
Cleveland.com is reporting that the suspension is due to an incident that occurred earlier this week. Randall was not listed on the injury report.
Randall, who is in a contract year, has already missed four games this season due to a hamstring injury. He was ejected from the first meeting with the Steelers for a helmet-to-helmet hit on wide receiver Diontae Johnson. The safety later told reporters that he received death threats for that hit.
Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks defended Randall and the organization after the controversial hit.
“I would say this right here: this is a physical football game, a physical game as a whole. That is not my personality. That is not our personality as an organization. Things happen on the football field,” Wilks explained.
“Very unfortunate, and I do not think anything was malicious at all with the hit with Damarious Randall. It just so happen that he caught him in the wrong place. That is nothing that we coach nor do we condone that.”
Randall, 27, has recorded 35 tackles, four pass deflections and two sacks this season. He was acquired from the Packers prior to the start of the 2018 regular season. In his first season with Cleveland, the former No. 30 overall selection missed just one game and recorded 84 tackles, a fumble recovery, four interceptions, nine pass deflections.
The Browns will also be without starting left tackle Greg Robinson and safety Eric Murray for the 1 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS. Defensive end Olivier Vernon and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge are listed as questionable.