The NFL has decided to cut down the preseason to two games for the upcoming 2020 campaign.
Luckily, the Cleveland Browns have most of their starters already penciled in.
However, it will be tough for the backups and undrafted free agents to make a major impact with the preseason being shortened.
This is going to impact the Browns players and coaching staff significantly since they will get less practice time together.
Although, there are a few players on the Browns roster that this will hurt more than others.
3. Jedrick Wills
The Browns expect big things from Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills after taking him with the No. 10 overall pick.
Wills spent most of his time in college at the right tackle spot, but is being asked to move over to left tackle in Cleveland.
Over the offseason, the Browns signed free agent Jack Conklin to fill the void at right tackle.
#Browns new RT Jack Conklin passes his physical and signs his 3-year, $42 million contract
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 20, 2020
The Browns were hopeful that it would be a smooth transition, but Wills will have less time to practice now.
The offensive line is a place where you greatly benefit from knowing your teammates and their habits on the field.
Wills will be thrown into a new system, have a decreased amount of reps, and a new position to learn.
Cleveland does have veteran Chris Hubbard as a backup if Wills struggles adjusting to left tackle.
However, Wills was projected as one of the best tackles in his draft class.
He is expected to start from Day 1, but he’ll just have to learn a bit faster now.
2. Sione Takitaki
The Browns selected linebacker Sione Takitaki in the third round of the draft last year.
He finished his rookie season with 21 tackles through 15 games (one start) with Cleveland.
Cleveland basically ignored the linebacker position during the offseason with the exception of third-round pick Jacob Phillips.
“With the 97th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Cleveland Browns select … Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU.”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 25, 2020
Takitaki is expected to be heavily involved in the defense this season after only starting one game last year.
He is currently projected to be the starting strongside linebacker to begin the 2020 season.
The Browns have a new defensive coordinator in Joe Woods who now has less time to work with his young linebackers.
Takitaki does not have a ton of experience and is likely going to be thrown into the fire to start the season.
Woods is expected to give Takitaki major reps this season, so we’ll see if he’s ready for the challenge.
1. A.J. Green
The Browns gave Oklahoma State defensive back A.J. Green $145,000 guaranteed, which is the highest guaranteed salary for an undrafted player.
Clearly the Browns are high on the three-year starter, but his chances of making a big impact in camp were crushed with the shortened preseason.
Often times, backups and undrafted players get plenty of playing time in the preseason, but that probably won’t be the case this season.
Green won’t have nearly as many reps to impress the organization as he normally would.
There’s still a chance he makes the team and sees a majority of his time with the special teams unit.
However, his opportunity to climb up the depth chart at defensive back has been ruined.
Hopefully, the Browns keep Green around after camp, so he can get a longer opportunity to show everyone what he can do on the field.