AFC North: Garrett Gilkey

Jordan Cameron in, Joe Haden out

December, 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- The Browns will have tight end Jordan Cameron in the season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they will not have cornerback Joe Haden. No doubt Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will notice that rookie Leon McFadden is playing corner.

Other lineup changes prompted by injury include rookie Garrett Gilkey and John Greco (back from a sprained knee) starting at guard; Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston are both out with concussions. On the defensive line, Phil Taylor is out with a concussion. Ishmaa'ily Kitchen will replace him at noseguard, with Billy Winn starting at end.

Gilkey understands bullying's trauma

November, 5, 2013
Garrett Gilkey has been bullied.

He knows what it’s like and he’s talked about in great detail and with great eloquence in this story by’s Liz Merrill. He’s also dedicated himself to help make sure another kid is not bullied the way he was his freshman year in high school, when things got very, very ugly.

A rookie Browns lineman from Chadron State, Gilkey read about Jonathan Martin allegedly being bullied by his Miami Dolphins teammate Richie Incognito. And he empathized.

“It’s Martin’s Year 2 in the NFL,” Gilkey said today, discussing the issue from what he’s read and from long distance. “The problems have obviously been persisting for a very, very long time. Knowing the mental toll that bullying in general takes on a person, I can’t imagine what he’s gone through the past year and a half.”

As for the thinking that the NFL is a macho world and hazing is part of what you sign up for, Gilkey said some hazing can be fun, but bullying is not the same as hazing or rites of initiation (like buying a veteran’s dinner).

“I don’t care if you’re a 24-year-old NFL lineman,” Gilkey said. “It doesn’t matter. Bullying is the same if you’re a 24-year-old lineman as if you were a nine-year old girl. There’s just a level of empathy that didn’t exist in that context. I cant help but feel for Martin knowing that it’s a very real battle.”

Gilkey recently spoke at a middle school in suburban Peninsula, Ohio, and talked to kids about the importance of supporting each other. “The importance of community and leaning on each other,” he said.

Which is what he said appeared to be missing in Martin’s case -- support and the feeling of family.

“I just can’t help but have empathy for Martin knowing that the team is supposed to be a unit,” Gilkey said. “It’s supposed to function together as one. Those feelings of separation can be very damaging. Evidently it’s just a matter of time before that sponge has to release like it did.”

Gilkey understands that rituals are part of life in NFL. Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson called it “part of the initiation of the brotherhood.” But Gilkey said hazing or ritual without a relationship can create bullying.

“When you have relationship embedded in the context, it’s going to make things much different,” he said. “Clearly with grown men you have to be able to distinguish that well. Clearly in this case I feel that it was a one-sided relationship.”

And it doesn’t matter that adults were involved, or that they’re part of a certain “manly” culture.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are or how big you are,” Gilkey said. “No one should have to go through that.”
Cleveland Browns first-round pick Barkevious Mingo will be released from the hospital Friday after bruising his lung in a preseason game the night before. He's expected to miss next week's third preseason game but should be ready for the regular-season opener, according to

Even if Mingo was sidelined for a couple of regular-season games, the Browns would have been able to handle it. Mingo is working at outside linebacker on the second team, and the Browns have depth at pass rusher with Paul Kruger, Jabaal Sheard and Quentin Groves.

The bigger concern for Cleveland is at right guard and running back. The Browns are deciding whether running back Dion Lewis (fractured leg) is done for the season or could be a candidate for the injured reserve-designated to return list, league sources told The Plain Dealer. Either way, Lewis is going to miss significant time at point where he had become the favorite to back up Trent Richardson.

The injury to Lewis is compounded by the fact the Browns are already without Montario Hardesty, last year's backup running back. The often-injured Hardesty is expected to miss two to three regular-season games after recently undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The Browns' options right now at the No. 2 running back spot is either Brandon Jackson, who has eight carries over the past two seasons, or Chris Ogbonnaya, who has taken over as the starting fullback this training camp. Cleveland can also pick up a running back released elsewhere after the final major cutdown.

The picture isn't any brighter at right guard. Jason Pinkston suffered a high ankle sprain and will most likely be out at least four weeks, according to The Plain Dealer. Under that timetable, the Browns couldn't expect him back until the third game of the regular season. Shawn Lauvao is expected to miss two to three games in the regular season after having his ankle scoped last week.

So, what are the Browns going to do at right guard for the first couple of weeks? On Thursday night, the Browns replaced Pinkston with Garrett Gilkey. Who ever thought the seventh-round pick from Division II Chadron State would possibly be the first rookie out of this year's draft class to start this season?

This is why Mingo is the least of the Browns' worries.

"It was a tough night from an injury standpoint," coach Rob Chudzinski said after the Browns' 24-6 preseason win over the Detroit Lions. "But that's the game. Guys get injured and others have to step up in their place."
A quick recap of what the teams in the division did in the final two rounds ...

CINCINNATI BENGALS: Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead (sixth round) is smart, competitive and versatile (can line up in wildcat). There are questions about durability considering his injury history. ... Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton (sixth round) is a big possession receiver and strong blocker. He has to prove he can get separation. ... Ohio State OT Reid Fragel (seventh round) moved from tight end to the offensive line last year, so he needs to work on his technique. He plays with an edge. ... South Carolina C T.J. Johnson (seventh round) uses his size well in the run game but looks heavy-footed in pass protection.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Yes, the Browns did actually draft some players on Day 3. Notre Dame S Jamoris Slaughter (sixth round) is about 90 percent recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon, which caused him to fall from being a third-round prospect. He is known as a leader with good football IQ. ... East Central Oklahoma DE Armonty Bryant (seventh round) is a character risk after being arrested for selling marijuana to undercover police. On the field, he finished with a school-record 26.5 sacks. ... Chadron State guard Garrett Gilkey (seventh round) is a Division II tackle who will move to guard. He's added 70 pounds since high school.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: Notre Dame DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (sixth round) tore his ACL in the BCS championship game and may sit out this season. He's a blue-collar prospect who has had trouble staying healthy. ... Colorado State-Pueblo guard Ryan Jensen (sixth round) is a small-school four-year starter at tackle who will move inside in the NFL. He plays with a mean streak. ... Elon WR Aaron Mellette (seventh round) has good size (6-feet-2) and doesn't shy away from contact. He was outclassed against big-school defenders at the Senior Bowl. ... California CB Marc Anthony (seventh round) is a physical press corner who doesn't have the closing speed to match up with faster receivers.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Penn State's Justin Brown (sixth round) is the second wide receiver drafted by the Steelers this week. Brown brings size (6-3) but not game-breaking speed. ... Florida State ILB Vince Williams (sixth round) is a two-down player who can stop the run. He will provide depth because the Steelers don't expect Sean Spence (knee injury) to play this season. ... Samford DT Nicholas Williams (seventh round) is a raw prospect who is a former basketball standout. He has upside as a pass-rusher.