BEREA—The Browns feel it’s time to collect some dividends on their investment in Dwayne Bowe.
Bowe was the team’s marquee signing on offense as they signed the former Pro Bowler to a two-year $12.5 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. However, Bowe has been hampered with a hamstring injury since early in training camp. His only game action was when he was forced to play in the preseason finale while over 30 of his teammates were rested for the regular season.
Bowe was officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game but after being inactive against the Jets last week. Bowe said he expects to play Sunday against Tennessee.
“Most definitely,” Bowe said Thursday after practice. “With a hamstring, you definitely have to get out there, you can still burst and run around. (Wednesday and Thursday), I put together two great practices so I am feeling pretty confident I can go out on Sunday and play.”
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said they miss having Bowe in the lineup.
“I wouldn’t say from a play standpoint anything is missing, but from a presence standpoint, there are some things missing,” he said. “When I say a presence standpoint, we don’t have another body type like that outside. We just don’t have that. Our other players out there have different skill sets than Dwayne has. I think whenever you have that physical skill set from being a tall, big person like Dwayne is, a DB has to take notice of that that he is going to get bodied up.”
There has been some critical of Bowe’s inability to get on the field. He said he wants to show he still has what it takes to be a game changer.
“It is important to prove to the team,” Bowe said. “My job is to make sure I am the best at what I do on and off the field. It is a major role I play and contribute to. Just going out and doing it on Sunday is all I can control and worry about.”
Bowe, who will turn 31 next Monday, said he has not had issues with his hamstring in the past and wants to make sure it’s not something that plagues him all season.
“You have to do more to take care of your body,” he said. “At this level, hamstrings can linger around. You just have to be a pro and be smart about it and learn how to work yourself in and not let any pressure [get to you], going out there and speeding yourself up to re-injure it. We have the best staff over here and I feel pretty good about this week.”
Bowe (6-2, 222) is the biggest receiver on the roster and he said he’s learned to use his body size to his advantage.
“I would say as you get older you have to use more technique,” Bowe said. “Younger guys come in this league that are running fast. You just have to be a technician and use your skill. I am big body. I can go across the middle and make the big plays in the back of end zone. That is something we need and something I can do.”
Despite not catching a touchdown pass since 2013, Bowe thinks he can still be a weapon for the Browns inside the 20.
“I am a big red zone threat, even big play downs,” Bowe said. “Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) knows it. Our team knows it. My duty is to get out there and prove it, and that is what I intend to do.”
Bryant, Dansby Questionable: Besides QB Josh McCown (concussion), LB Scott Solomon (ankle) and RB Robert Turbin (ankle) are out, four players are officially listed as questionable: WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring), DL Desmond Bryant, LB Karlos Dansby (foot) and DB Justin Gilbert (hip). All other players that were on the report are listed as probable.