CLEVELAND – The Browns will be without one of their key defenders today for the season opener against Miami, as defensive end Ahtyba Rubin is inactive.
Rubin, who’s entering his fourth year as a starter, injured his calf in practice Thursday, didn’t practice Friday and had been listed as questionable. He missed three games last year with a calf injury.
Billy Winn, entering his second year, will start in place of Rubin.
“I’m completely confident and comfortable with him in there,” first-year coach Rob Chudzinski said of Winn on Friday.
Starting cornerback Buster Skrine (shoulder) was the other player listed as questionable on the injury report. He will start opposite Joe Haden, with Chris Owens playing against three-receiver sets.
The Browns lack depth in the secondary and could ill afford the loss of Skrine.
Joining Rubin on the inactive list are: quarterback Brian Hoyer, tight end MarQueis Gray, outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (bruised lung), offensive linemen Shawn Lauvao (ankle) and Martin Wallace and outside linebacker Paul Hazel.
The Dolphins' inactives are: cornerbacks Will Davis and Jamar Taylor, No. 3 quarterback Pat Devlin, running back Mike Gillislee, linebacker Josh Kaddu and guards Danny Watkins and Dallas Thomas.
** CBS’ Jason LaCanfora reported center Alex Mack will play out his rookie deal. He’s in the last year of his five-year rookie contract and isn’t open to doing a deal during the season, according to the report.
He was a first-round pick in 2009 and has not missed a snap. He would become a free agent in March if an extension isn’t reached.
General manager Michael Lombardi was asked during training camp if Mack is the type of player the team would like to sign long-term.
“I think Alex certainly has proven that he’s a good player on and off the field,” Lombardi said. “I think he has the ability to continue to play well. So he certainly fits the profile.”