Browns’ Corey Coleman breaks hand, will have surgery

In this Aug. 26, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) is taken down by Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Keith Tandy (37) during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game, in Tampa, Fla. Coleman broke his right hand during Sunday’s Sept. 17, 2017, loss in Baltimore and is having surgery. Coach Hue Jackson did not give a timetable on his return. (Phelan Ebenhack, File/AP)

BEREA, Ohio — Corey Coleman’s second NFL season is off to an eerily similar start to his first.

Cleveland’s top wide receiver broke his right hand again during Sunday’s loss in Baltimore, and Browns coach Hue Jackson said the 2016 first-round pick is undergoing surgery.

It’s the second year in a row Coleman has broken his right hand. While he fractured a different bone this time, Coleman’s occurred almost exactly a year after he broke it during practice on Sept. 21.

Coleman did not undergo surgery last year, but missed six weeks.

"It’s unfortunate," Jackson said Monday. "It almost feels like I know to him, the same time, different year, around the same time, here comes the injury and it’s unfortunate. But it’s something we go through and get through it."

Jackson said he won’t have a timetable for Coleman’s return until after surgery.

The Browns were counting on Coleman to develop into a dependable playmaker. He was making progress toward that.

After he came back in 2016, Coleman struggled to get up to speed and finished with 33 receptions for 413 yards and three touchdowns — hardly the numbers the Browns imagined when they selected him with the 15th overall pick.

Coleman made one catch for 9 yards before getting hurt.

His loss puts further stress on a thin receiving corps. Rashard Higgins led the Browns with nine catches for 75 yards Sunday after being signed off the practice squad.

Jackson said it’s possible the team could sign another wide receiver.

"Hey, next guy up," Jackson said. "We gotta go coach the guys that we have here. There’s nothing magical that’s going to happen that way. I know (VP) Sashi (Brown) and his team is going to do everything they can to see if there’s somebody else who can help us. But I don’t look at it that way. I think the guys that are on our football team have to step up and play, just like we saw Rashard go out there and play extremely well yesterday and do some good things.

"Who’s going to be the next guy that steps up and take the opportunity and makes something happen? So that’s what we have to do."

During off-season free agency, the Browns chose not to re-sign Terrelle Pryor, their leading receiver last season. Cleveland instead brought in veteran Kenny Britt, who has two catches for 15 yards in two games.

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