CLEVELAND—Dwayne Bowe is active.
Whether he plays a big role in the game or not remains to be seen.
Bowe is listed on the team’s depth chart behind Brian Hartline and Travis Benjamin opposite Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel, but the more important question is whether Bowe is down the depth chart for the hamstring injury or for his lack of showing anything when he was practicing.
Bowe was inactive last week with a hamstring injury suffered early in the preseason and didn’t play in the preseason until the last game with the Bears when veterans are traditionally rested. Reports surfaced that the Browns were considering releasing Bowe in the final cuts, but were dismissed by Mike Pettine.
However, Bowe was inactive in the season opener against the Jets, but Pettine said Bowe suffered a “setback”.
CBS Sports Jason LaCanforia reported Sunday morning that the Browns coaching staff would like to move on from Bowe and work with the younger receivers. However, Bowe has a $9 million contract for this season with the team.
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 had a setback prior to the season opener and was 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. Inactive for the Browns are Josh McCown, Justin Gilbert, Robert Turbin, Ibraheim Campbell, Scott Solomon, E.J. Gibbs and Xavier Cooper.