Browns leave Clowney behind for finale vs Steelers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney's season is officially over — not that there was much of a question.

The Cleveland Browns did not bring Clowney on their trip to Pittsburgh for the season finale after the defensive end was sent home from practice Friday for biting remarks he made about the organization and coaching staff.

Before departing Saturday, the Browns officially downgraded Clowney to out.

Coach Kevin Stefanski was intentionally vague Friday about Clowney's standing, but intimated the Browns were moving forward without him by saying, “Nothing comes above the team.”

Clowney effectively ended his second season with the Browns during an interview with cleveland.com this week when he said he felt the Browns undervalued him and were more focused on making Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett look good at his expense.

The 29-year-old Clowney complained he was put in difficult matchups by the coaches so Garrett, who has 15 sacks this season, could dominate.

Garrett said Friday he found Clowney's remarks “confusing” and wished his teammate had spoken to him before sounding off publicly.

“We’re both moved to be put in favorable matchups,” Garrett said. "That’s kind of the name of the game: Put your guy against their best and then put your guy against their worst and see what happens. “We want to give everyone a chance to win, an opportunity. I wish we could have talked about it.”

Clowney had just two sacks this season. He had recorded nine — his most since 2018 with Houston — with the Browns in 2021 and re-signed as a free agent in May.

On Thursday, Clowney said he was “95% sure” he wasn't returning to the Browns (7-9), who missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

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Tom Withers, The Associated Press