Braxton Miller was a Heisman Trophy candidate and was expected to lead the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title and into the first ever NCAA College Football Playoff to battle for a National Championship. He has been lost for the year with a shoulder injury that he had surgery on Tuesday, August 26th.
Miller accounted for 3,162 yards of total offense and 36 touchdowns for the Buckeyes last season.
He threw for 2,094 yards with 24 TD’s and 7 INT’s.
He rushed for 1,068 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Miller is being replaced by redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett who has never taken a snap in a regular season game at Ohio State. Redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones could also see some time at quarterback. Jones has completed 1 pass in his career in Columbus for 3 yards, but has rushed for 128 yards and 1 score.
Josh Gordon was coming off a record setting year in which he led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646 yards in only 14 games and he scored 9 touchdowns. Gordon’s yards per catch average was 18.9. Gordon has been suspended for the entire year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Browns G.M. Ray Farmer passed on drafting highly rated wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the 4th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and then proceed not to draft a receiver at all in the 7 round draft in a year when the receiver position was considered very deep.
The Browns did sign free agent wide out Andrew Hawkins from the Bengals, but he’s not even close to the player Gordon is, and he’s not even considered a #1 receiver. Hawkins totaled only 12 catches for 199 yards last season in Cincinnati and failed to get into the end zone.
The Browns are banking on free agent veterans Miles Austin and Nate Burleson to step in and fill the void left by Gordon’s suspension. Austin and Burleson combined to reach the end zone 1 time last year and both are known more for their injuries lately, than for what they’ve done on the football field. Austin only played in 11 games for the Cowboys last season and Burleson suited up for just 9 games for the Lions last year. Neither have helped the team or quarterbacks Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel so far in the preseason, can you really count on them in the regular season?