BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns rookie defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey wasn't on the practice fields Friday as his team prepares for the Jets. Instead, he was held out as he faces discipline for reasons the team is keeping in house.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said that Winfrey was "disciplined" Friday but when asked follow up questions simply said "not going to get into anymore detail."
After the practice session concluded, veteran defensive end Myles Garrett, who Winfrey hovered around early in training camp to try and learn from, said that he and the team had talked to Winfrey about the issue that caused his discipline several times, but the message wasn't being received.
For Garrett, a Captain on the team this season, speaking up about it was necessary, but he wasn't alone in trying to provide leadership.
"We all have to step up and say something. But sometimes silence speaks louder than words. We’ve used our voice a couple of times, and at the end of the day he’s got to learn how to be a pro," Garrett said. "Kevin took it into his own hands and he felt like that was the right thing to do. I’m behind my coach’s actions fully."
Garrett divulged that whatever the issue with Winfrey was had to do with his actions, and that it quickly became obvious to the staff as well, which is when Stefanski stepped in.
"It was pretty common knowledge and it was easy to see. So it wasn’t like we had to bring it to his attention. His actions were very apparent," Garrett said.
Winfrey, one of the Browns' fourth-round picks in this year's draft, came in with a fiery energy that was appreciated but eventually saw him aim to control to be more "bite than bark."
Stefanski did not specify whether Winfrey would miss Sunday's home opener due to the discipline, but he was not listed on the game status update as questionable like Jack Conklin due to his knee injury, or out like Chris Hubbard due to illness.
Last week in the season opener against the Panthers, Winfrey took just five snaps on defense but did bat down a pass from Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The Browns are keeping the rookie accountable and will hope that this discipline will be something that helps him grow as a player as he continues his development.
Camryn Justice is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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