December 20, 2014

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Browns WR Greg Little demoted from starting spot; Davone Bess will replace him

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little pulls in a pass as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith closes in Sunday. (AP photo)

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little pulls in a pass as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith closes in Sunday. (AP photo)

BEREA — Two poor performances have cost wide receiver Greg Little his starting job.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski announced today that Josh Gordon and Davone Bess will start at wide receiver in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings. Little and Travis Benjamin got the nod in Cleveland’s first two games, both of which were losses.

“You can’t be surprised with anything in this league,” Bess said of the move. “We’re 0-2 and we’ve got to get better.”

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess will take over the starting job from Greg Little.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess will take over the starting job from Greg Little.

Chudzinski said Little’s latest driving misadventure — he was cited for three traffic violations early Monday in Cleveland — was not the primary reason for the move. His lack of production and four dropped passes were.

Bess ranks second on the Browns with 10 receptions for 85 yards through two games, while Little has eight grabs for 59 yards. Little was targeted a team-high 12 times Sunday in Cleveland’s 14-6 loss in Baltimore, but only caught four balls for 33 yards.

“From practicing with him all summer, Davone has been great,” said Gordon, who will make his season debut after serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s banned substance policy. “I’m excited to be going out there with him.”

The Browns and Vikings play Sunday at Mall of America Field.

** Defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (calf) and right guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) returned to practice after missing the first two games.
Rubin looked good going through individual drills in the half-hour of practice open to reporters.
Lauvao, who had arthroscopic surgery Aug. 9, went through stretching, jogging and some individual drills, but didn’t hit the blocking sled when the other linemen did.
** Outside linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) was ruled out of the game Sunday.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com