CLEVELAND — Nov. 10, 2019: We will remember this day as the one in which Rashard "Hollywood" Higgins was freed from his strange quarantine on the Browns' sideline. In a rare appearance, Higgins proved his value in a single play.
As Browns fans know, Higgins developed impressive chemistry with quarterback Baker Mayfield last season. The wide receiver caught 73.5 percent of his targets for 572 yards and four touchdowns.
The receiver always seemed to be there for Mayfield when a play was breaking down.
The duo looked good on the field, until this season, that is.
What a long strange year it's been
Through the first nine games of the season, we’ve only seen Higgins in four of them—and have only seen him targeted seven times.
While Higgins was sidelined after suffering a knee injury in the Week 1 loss to the Titans, he was a full participant in three straight practices ahead of the Week 6 matchup with the Seahawks—yet still didn't play. He made two brief appearances against the Patriots and Broncos but failed to get significant playing time.
The exact reasoning behind why Higgins was absent, aside from the early injury, has yet to be confirmed, but a sudden change in the roster before Sunday’s game against the Bills found Antonio Callaway sidelined and presented Higgins with the opportunity to play.
Higgins was only involved in a handful of plays Sunday, but he proved that his productivity last season was no fluke and showed us why he should be on the field.
In his only target, a 7-yard catch, Higgins found the end zone for the winning touchdown, snapping the Browns' four-game losing skid.
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens seemed pleased with his performance following the win.
“Hig just needed to stay the course. I think he is getting back healthy. He has been healthy, but he is getting back to himself, per se. He was there where we needed him. He came up big for us,” Kitchens said.
As for Higgins, well, he seemed pretty happy to be back in the mix as well. He actually had a dream about scoring today.
“It felt amazing. I told Odell the whole day I had a dream I scored. I didn’t say I scored like that, on a game-winner, but I told him I scored and it felt great,” Higgins said. “During my dream, I woke up pretty fast because I scored and I was excited, ready to walk to the red carpet.”
So will we see him again?
As for the upcoming games, Higgins is confident in his, and his team’s, ability to perform at a higher level.
“We kept telling each other all week, ‘We’ve got to get to 1-0, and we’ve got to do it fast,’ and what a great way to come out and beat Buffalo at home and get to 1-0,” Higgins said. “We’ve got to keep winning and we’ve got to get on the road fast.”
The Browns have a short turnaround as they host their first rivalry match-up of the season with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a Thursday night game at FirstEnergy Stadium this week.
Hopefully, Higgins’ production Sunday was enough of a reminder to his coaches as to why he should be on the field in the action—and how he can help the team get much-needed wins each week.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.