Rashard Higgins

Carolina Panthers
Wide Receiver #81
Carolina Panthers
Wide Receiver #81
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Rashard Higgins News

Joining Panthers

Higgins has agreed to a one-year deal with the Panthers, Jake Trotter of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Higgins is coming off a 2021 campaign in which he caught 24 passes (on 47 targets) for 275 yards and a TD in 15 games for the Browns. With the Panthers, the 27-year-old will look to secure the team's No. 3 wideout role behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, a role that carries modest fantasy upside, but one (if he lands it) that offers Higgins an opportunity to step into a key role in the event of injuries to Carolina's top pass-catchers.

Mar 16, 2022 12:29 PM EST

Not expected back

Higgins (illness) will not be re-signed by the Browns when he hits free agency, Jeff Howe and Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Higgins, who sat out the final game of the season with an illness, had an uptick in usage over the final stretch of the season, but the Browns will not re-sign him for a third consecutive year. After a down season for the team's passing offense, Cleveland's decision makers plan to revamp the receiving corps surrounding quarterback Baker Mayfield, including the possibility of parting with wide receiver Jarvis Landry. The Browns are assessing several free-agent and trade options outside the organization.

Mar 5, 2022 5:57 AM EST

Won't return Sunday

Higgins (illness) will not return Sunday against the Bengals, Scott Petrak reports.

Analysis: Higgins was active, but he never took the field Sunday. Anthony Schwartz and Ja'Marcus Bradley should continue to see extra snaps for the remainder of the game.

Jan 9, 2022 11:58 AM EST

Remains involved

Higgins caught one of five targets for eight yards in Monday's 26-14 loss to Pittsburgh.

Analysis: Higgins' late-season revival continued as the wide receiver has been targeted at least five times in last three games. Monday's issue was beleaguered quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was inaccurate and hounded by the Steelers' defense which had nine sacks and hit the QB another 11 times. It's unclear how the Browns will operate in their final game of the regular season next week against Cincinnati. There could be value in giving rookie Anthony Schwartz a greater role at the expense of Higgins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Jan 4, 2022 5:35 AM EST

Paces receivers in loss

Higgins caught five of six targets for 58 yards in Week 16's 24-22 loss to Green Bay on Saturday.

Analysis: Higgins led all of Cleveland's targets in receiving yards and was heavily involved in the passing attack for the second consecutive week. He had a 65-percent share of the snaps, behind Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and for the second straight week out-snapped rookie Anthony Schwartz. It was unclear if Higgins involvement in Week 15 was the result of a COVID-19 outbreak among the team's receivers (wideouts and tight ends), but it appears he's resurrected himself. Higgins, who was seemingly inside a coaching doghouse at one point in 2021, has caught eight of 11 targets for 82 yards over the last two games.

Dec 27, 2021 6:29 AM EST

Moves up depth chart

Higgins caught three of five targets for 24 yards in Monday's 16-14 loss to the Raiders.

Analysis: The Browns were key players due to an outbreak of COVID-19, which necessitated Higgins' return to a prominent role in the passing game. He was the second wideout behind Donovan Peoples-Jones and had a season-high 79 percent share of the offensive snaps. If Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper and Kareem Hunt (ankle) come off the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for next Sunday's road game in Green Bay, Higgins should return to a minor role.

Dec 21, 2021 4:51 AM EST

Browns-Raiders moved to Monday

Higgins and the Browns will no longer play the Raiders on Saturday, after the NFL officially rescheduled the matchup between the two teams for Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Analysis: Due to ongoing COVID-19-related concerns within the Cleveland organization, the NFL is hopeful that by delaying the game two days, the Browns will restore enough players from the reserve/COVID-19 list to alleviate depth concerns on the roster. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Higgins and Ja'Marcus Bradley are currently the top three available receivers on the roster heading into the Week 15 matchup, but all would be pushed down a spot in the pecking order if Jarvis Landry (illness) is able to clear all COVID-19-related protocols before Monday.

Dec 17, 2021 4:09 PM EST

Healthy scratch in Week 12

Higgins (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday at Baltimore, Anthony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports.

Analysis: Even with rookie third-round pick Anthony Schwartz sidelined with a concussion, the Browns have elected to make Higgins a healthy scratch. This could be Higgins' reality moving forward due to his meager results this season (15-185-1 line on 31 targets in 11 games). With Higgins and Schwartz inactive, Jarvis Landry, Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin), Ja'Marcus Bradley and JoJo Natson will compose the team's group of wide receivers in Week 12.

Nov 28, 2021 4:09 PM EST

Moves into prominent role

Higgins caught one of five targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 13-10 win over Detroit.

Analysis: Higgins saw an increased level of activity Sunday, playing 72 percent of the snaps (53 of 74), and the five targets were his most since Week 5. That usage was due to injuries to Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) and Anthony Schwartz (concussion). Somewhere between Week 5, when Higgins caught a touchdown, and the previous two games, Higgins fell out of favor with the coaching staff -- he played a combined 29 of 107 snaps (27 percent) Weeks 9 and 10 -- but there just too many injuries heading into Week 11. Higgins' role next Monday in Baltimore depends on the health of others, including Jarvis Landry, who aggravated a previous knee injury against the Lions but fought through it.

Nov 22, 2021 3:29 AM EST

Could this be the week?

Higgins moves up the depth chart with rookie Anthony Schwartz sidelined by a concussion for Sunday's game against the Lions, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: For a third consecutive week following the departure of Odell Beckham, Higgins seems to be in a position to take on a higher profile in the passing game. It's unclear if he's in the coaching staff's doghouse, but Higgins played three snaps against the Bengals in Week 9, then 26 snaps Week 10 but only after Schwartz was removed. In addition to Schwartz's unavailability, Donovan Peoples-Jones is questionable with an apparent aggravation of a previous groin injury. Any Higgins optimism should be tempered by the multiple injuries quarterback Baker Mayfield (shoulder, knee, foot) dealt with over the past week, plus the return of running back Nick Chubb from the COVID-19 protocols list, which should translate to a run-heavy attack.

Nov 20, 2021 6:06 AM EST

Plays more, produces little

Higgins did not catch his lone target in Sunday's 45-7 loss to New England.

Analysis: Higgins' lone target came late in the game when the Browns were down by 31 points. The greater role that Cleveland offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Higgins would have never materialized against the Patriots. The sixth-year wideout was on the field for 26 snaps after having just three last week against the Bengals, but Higgins has fallen behind Donovan Peoples-Jones (50 snaps), who has played a greater role post-Odell Beckham.

Nov 15, 2021 4:33 AM EST

OC promises greater role

Cleveland offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said Higgins will get opportunities now that Odell Beckham is no longer with the team, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: The Browns played without Beckham last week, and Higgins went untargeted while playing just three snaps. If he were to grab a larger role without Beckham, why didn't it happen last week? However it all shakes out, Higgins and quarterback Baker Mayfield have exhibited chemistry in the past, and the wide receiver could eventually emerge as a viable target going forward. The biggest impediments to Higgins are Jarvis Landry (knee), Donovan Peoples-Jones and a heavy reliance on the running attack.

Nov 12, 2021 6:55 AM EST

Untargeted in win

Higgins was not targeted in Sunday's 41-16 win over Cincinnati.

Analysis: This was Cleveland's first game following the negotiated release of wide receiver Odell Beckham, so there was some interest in who might benefit from that decision. Early on, it looks like Donovan Peoples-Jones, who led the Browns with 86 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown catch, received a boost. Higgins has multiple years of experience in the organization, including four seasons with Baker Mayfield, and has worked well with the quarterback in the past, so he should not be written off yet. For now, however, it looks like Jarvis Landry and Peoples-Jones are the tops among wide receivers.

Nov 7, 2021 7:41 PM EST

Moves up depth chart

Higgins moves up Cleveland's wide receiver depth chart after the team and Odell Beckham agreed to part ways.

Analysis: Higgins has never been a big part of the passing attack, but he's been less so in 2021. That's due to a few reasons: the team's heavy tilt toward the running attack, its use of tight ends as receivers, and the emergence of Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) at wideout. Now, with Beckham on his way out of town and Peoples-Jones nursing an injury, Higgins could become the No. 2 wideout behind Jarvis Landry in Sunday's game against Cincinnati.

Nov 6, 2021 7:17 AM EST

Gathers two catches in loss

Higgins caught two of four passes for 27 yards in Sunday's 15-10 loss to the Steelers.

Analysis: It was another quiet week for Higgins, despite Donovan Peoples-Jones being inactive due to a groin injury. He's been active for all eight games but held under 30 yards in seven of those contests. Higgins and quarterback Baker Mayfield have had a good rapport going back to 2018, but the receiver ranks 111th in the league with a catch rate of 56 percent (14 catches, 25 targets).

Nov 1, 2021 4:54 AM EST

Two targets in Week 7 win

Higgins caught one of two targets for minus-2 yards in Thursday's 17-14 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: Higgins, who went untargeted last week, was a non-factor for the second straight game. This was the first time this season that both Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry were active, so reduced involvement by Higgins was expected; however, a pre-game groin injury suffered by Donovan Peoples-Jones led to Higgins playing 42 snaps, second among the wide receivers. The Browns have 10 days to prepare for their next game against the Steelers, which gives Peoples-Jones plenty of time to get ready. Higgins had fallen behind the second-year wide receiver the previous two games.

Oct 22, 2021 4:00 AM EST

Shut out in loss

Higgins did not catch any of three targets in Sunday's 37-14 loss to Arizona.

Analysis: Higgins played 63 percent of the offensive snaps (37 of 59 plays) -- his biggest share since Week 2 when both Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry (knee) were injured -- but was shut out for the first time since Week 1, a game in which he played just four snaps due to his own lingering injury. Quarterback Baker Mayfield established a great connection with Donovan Peoples-Jones (four catches, 101 yards, two TDs), who has been Higgins biggest competitor for playing time, so there could be a change in the wide receiver pecking order. Higgins' 19 overall targets leads Peoples-Jones (15), but the second-year wideout took on a higher profile that last two weeks with 10 catches and 11 targets compared to Higgins' three and eight.

Oct 18, 2021 5:41 AM EST

Finds end zone

Higgins caught three of five targets for 29 yards and a seven-yard touchdown pass in Sunday's 47-42 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: After barely playing (four snaps) in a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs, Higgins has been a regular in the wideout rotation since, suggesting that a hamstring injury leading up to the season opener was the reason for playing against Kansas City. Sunday's score was his first of the season and the first that any wide receiver has scored thus far in 2021. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown just four touchdowns through five games.

Oct 11, 2021 5:09 AM EST

Paces pass catchers in Week 4 win

Higgins brought in four of seven targets for 63 yards in the Browns' 14-7 win over the Vikings on Sunday.

Analysis: Higgins drew even with Odell Beckham for the team lead in targets while pacing the Browns in both receptions and receiving yards on a lackluster day for the passing game overall. The veteran slot man has done a serviceable job filling in for Jarvis Landry (IR-knee) as the de facto No. 2 receiver over the last two games, posting a 6-87 line on nine targets in that pair of contests. Higgins still projects for modest fantasy value on a week-to-week basis in the run-heavy Browns attack, but he'll look to continue contributing in a Week 5 road matchup against the Chargers.

Oct 3, 2021 3:26 PM EST

Helps fill in for Landry

Higgins caught two of two targets for 24 yards in Sunday's 26-6 win over Chicago.

Analysis: Higgins saw a healthy number of snaps for the second straight week following the season-opener win which he played just four snaps. With Jarvis Landry (knee) sidelined, it was up to Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones to pick up extra playing time and potential targets. The duo combined for four catches on four targets for 63 yards in what was a run-heavy attack (42 carries, 31 throws). Landry is on the injured list, Higgins should be in line for reasonable usage the next two weeks at least; however, the Browns will continue to lean on running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, while Odell Beckham dominates the touches on the outside.

Sep 27, 2021 5:00 AM EST

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