The first preseason game of the 2021 season is in the books.
That means, the regular season is getting closer and will be here before we know it.
On Saturday, the Cleveland Browns were able to pull off the 23-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A majority of the Browns starters didn’t play much, but it was nice to see football again.
Sadly, it wasn’t all perfect for the Browns and a few players might’ve hurt their position on the depth chart with poor performances.
1. D’Ernest Johnson
At first glance, the performance of third string running back D’Ernest Johnson might not be too important.
It’s highly unlikely anyone else is going to run the ball much in the regular season besides Chubb and Hunt.
However, injuries do happen and it’s always important to have quality backup players in case something happens.
On Saturday, Johnson might’ve pushed himself in the wrong direction during their preseason victory.
He rushed five times for 14 yards and caught two passes for 28 receiving yards.
Johnson finished with a rough 2.8 yards per carry, but did have some good plays as well.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 14, 2021
The third-year back has seen limited time with the Browns over the last two seasons.
Last season, Chubb went down with an injury, but Johnson still didn’t have much of a role in the offense.
Now, he’ll get a chance to prove he can be an asset to the Browns running game.
However, rookie Demetric Felton is not making it easy on Johnson to secure the No. 3 role.
The Browns selected Felton in the sixth-round out of UCLA and he might end up being a steal.
He is listed as a running back, but has excellent hands and route running ability.
Browns’ Demetric Felton is listed as a RB
Here is his route running ⬇️
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 1, 2021
On Saturday, Felton finished with four receptions for 44 yards in the preseason opener.
He didn’t see any action on the ground, but his pass catching ability is going to make him an intriguing option.
To be honest, Johnson doesn’t have tremendous upside in any area and could be easily get passed up by Felton, assuming he continues making plays in the preseason.
2. Mack Wilson
The oft-injured linebacker Mack Wilson was unable to get through the preseason opener.
He suffered a shoulder injury, but luckily it doesn’t sound like he is going to miss significant time.
Sources: #Browns LB Mack Wilson suffered a grade 1 shoulder sprain and avoided serious injury. He’ll miss a couple days, but will be back soon.
— Brad Stainbrook (@BrownsByBrad) August 15, 2021
Nonetheless, he was unable to make an impact on the field during Saturday’s contest.
His absence means more playing time for rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
He capitalized on the increased snaps and finished with a team-high eight tackles and one sack.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a menace for the Jacksonville offense yesterday.
JOK led the #Browns defense with 8 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. 🔥
Is it too early to call him the steal of the draft? 😉 pic.twitter.com/t5W5boXqsy
— The Hottest Take (@Hottest_TakePod) August 15, 2021
Heading into the matchup, Wilson was likely ahead of Owusu-Koramoah on the depth chart.
A day later, it’s uncertain if the same can be said on Wilson’s status.
Wilson put together a disappointing 2020 campaign where he was sidelined with injuries.
Possibly, a dud preseason could put Owusu-Koramoah ahead of him going forward.
The Browns drafted Owusu-Koramoah in the second round to be a future starter for this team.
However, he could very well play his way into a significant role right away, assuming Wilson remains sidelined or disappoints.