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Browns rookie Travis Benjamin named AFC Special Teams Player of Week, plus other notes

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 12, 2012

Browns rookie Travis Benjamin has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Benjamin, a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown Sunday in the second quarter of the Browns’ 30-7 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

“That’s a tremendous honor,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “I’m sure he’s happy to receive that as well as be a part of a winning effort.”

It was the longest punt return in franchise history, surpassing the previous record of 92 yards set by Eric Metcalf in 1994. It also was the first time a Browns rookie returned a punt for a touchdown since Ben Davis in 1967.

Benjamin is the first Browns rookie to earn the award since Andre Davis in Week 8 of the 2002 season and the first Browns player to receive the honor since Josh Cribbs in Week 2 of the 2011 season.

RG3 watch

Shurmur said the Browns (5-8) can’t get caught up in wondering who will play quarterback for the Washington Redskins (7-6) when they visit Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday.
Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III tested his mildly sprained right knee in practice today, according to several reports. If Griffin doesn’t play Sunday, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will start at quarterback for the Redskins.

“Whoever plays quarterback will not affect our preparation as we move forward,” Shurmur said. “We have to prepare for their offense, and it’s extremely important that we not try to look at what things are being said, who’s going to play. They’ve got two really fine quarterbacks. They’re different in style in some ways. But their offense is very effective. They have elements of the drop-back passing game. They have elements of option football, and, of course, their running game resembles in a lot of ways the off-tackle zone stuff that [coach Mike Shanahan] has always been known for.”

Shurmur said backup quarterback Colt McCoy will play the role of the Redskins’ quarterbacks this week in practice. Shurmur said no consideration was given to Cribbs to play the role of Griffin.

“I’m not sure we have that kind of a speed on our team to simulate a player as talented as RG3 in terms of his flat speed,” Shurmur said. “I think it’s what you go through anytime you prepare for a tremendous player like RG3.”

Extra points

All the players on the Browns' 53-man roster practiced today. ... Cribbs will serve as the Browns’ fourth captain Sunday, Shurmur said. “I really appreciate Josh for his toughness, and in a sport like football, a guy that’s tough, that’s the highest honor,” Shurmur said. … The Browns elevated tight end/fullback Brad Smelley to their active roster Monday because they like the work he has done this season on their practice squad, Shurmur said. The other tight ends on the 53-man roster are healthy, Shurmur said.

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