Browns running back Isaiah Crowell made his first NFL start Sunday in the Browns’ 23-7 loss to the Houston Texans, while Ben Tate was virtually invisible against his former team.
Browns coach Mike Pettine stuck with “Crow” following the fumble, only giving third-round pick Terrance West five carries for 12 yards. Former featured back Tate received even fewer chances, logging two rushing attempts for minus-9 yards.
Tate initially declined to speak with reporters, saying, “What do you want to talk to me for? I didn’t play a down.” But he returned to the locker room and talked with the media.
“This is definitely tough, especially losing,” said Tate, who signed a two-year, $6.2 million contract on March 16. “Losing is what’s tough. Losing the games, especially to my old team, that’s tough. I’m upset that we lost the game. Yeah, I’m upset that we lost the game.”
Tate now seemingly finds himself as the third RB on the Browns, behind Crowell and Terrance West. It was especially tough on him going against his old team and not seeing a lot of time, but that's how the Browns have handled their RB situation much of this season, but especially after Tate returned from injury. "Crow" now seems like the back to own in terms of fantasy, but don't be surprised if it changes again this season. The presence of WR Josh Gordon returning this week should help the running game as defenses have to shift their attention, so Crowell owners may be in a good situation as long as he can continue to hold the job. It may also be key that the team stuck with Crowell even after he fumbled.