By Nick Shook
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Cody Kessler has taken a beating behind a Browns offensive line that can be considered patchwork at best.
But he refuses to come out of the game due to the pain. And there’s a good reason for it.
“My brother’s fighting through what he’s fighting through (a heart ailment),” Kessler said, via Cleveland.com. “So unless they force me to stay out like they did last week, I’m not coming out.
“It was tough and it was a little painful, but … my brother is at home watching and I’m out here with these guys who have been playing in the NFL for a long time and have taken much worse hits than I did today. It’s more so not for myself but the guys around you.”
In the four games he’s started, Kessler has been sacked 10 times. Six of those sacks came Sunday, when it seemed as though the quarterback was constantly swarmed by Titans defenders on almost every dropback. He finished, remarkably, with a 105.3 passer rating depsite the frequent pressure.
His comments were reminiscent of Josh McCown‘s reasoning for why he also wants to stay in the game at any and all cost — because he has family members who don’t have it as good as he does, and wants to give everything he has for his teammates.
The Browns are going nowhere this season. It’s evident in their record, their seemingly endless injury report, and their lack of talent on the roster. But Kessler’s words are just the latest example that brighter days might be ahead for the Browns, because despite starting 0-6, the respect for and desire to play for their teammates seem to be deeply ingrained inside their locker room. It shows when the team battles on the field, coming up short in close losses in four of their six games.
That isn’t common inside a building filled with struggles, let alone one that has rarely produced a winner in nearly two decades. That reflects on head coach Hue Jackson, who just might be the man to turn around the floundering Browns, starting with his third-round selection in these trying times.