Can Miles Austin stay healthy for the Browns? Austin has missed 11 games over the past three seasons due to hamstring problems. But the Browns signed him as a free agent, preparing for the expected suspension of star wide receiver Josh Gordon, who reportedly has violated the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Austin doesn’t view himself as a replacement for Gordon, but as someone who can help pick up the slack.
“Obviously he’s a tremendous receiver,” Austin told Cleveland reporters this week, speaking about Gordon during minicamp. “Size-wise he’s a little bigger than Dez (Bryant), but they both have huge hands. He made a one-handed catch on the field yesterday to end practice and the ball didn’t bobble at all. He caught it with one hand and ran it up field.”
The 29-year-old Austin has been a productive receiver in his prime, a two-time Pro Bowler with 301 catches, 4,481 yards, and 34 touchdowns during his career with the Cowboys. Austin contacted former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar and received permission to wear No. 19, which Austin wore for Dallas and that Kosar wore for Cleveland.
“I know how much the number means to him and the city of Cleveland and I also know how much the number means to me,” Austin said. “I never want to step on anyone’s toes coming anywhere.”
The Browns will keep their fingers crossed that Austin will step into the void that Gordon’s absence will leave.