The NFL season is still very young, but the Cleveland Browns are about to face their biggest challenge yet on Sunday Night Football.
They will face the 2018 NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.
The Browns held out a number of starters from practice on Wed in their preparation for Sunday Night’s matchup with the Rams.
Notable players held out of practice include:
Christian Kirksey (chest) right tackle Chris Hubbard (foot), defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (ankle), safety Morgan Burnett (quadriceps), safety Damarious Randall (concussion), tight end David Njoku (concussion/wrist) and linebacker Adarius Taylor .
“We are still kind of playing it by ear,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said. “We will see how those progress during the course of the week.”
The Browns did get some reinforcements with the return of running back Dontrell Hilliard and wide receiver Rashard Higgins.
The Browns have missed Hillard as a reliable pass-catching running back as well as Higgins being their 3rd option as a reliable receiver.
“We like good football players,” Kitchens said. “We feel like Hig is a good football player.”
With Monday night’s injury to David Njoku, Veteran Demetrius Harris played most of the snaps.
Njoku was the Brown’s second-leading receiver a year ago compiling 639 yards on 56 receptions.
#Browns TE David Njoku suffered a broken wrist during Monday’s game, source said. He’s seeking additional opinions to see if he needs surgery, but he’s out for more than a month if the initial estimates hold up. (@SportsBoyTony on it first.)
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 18, 2019
With David Njoku possibly needing wrist surgery, the Browns depth at tight end will be tested.
The Browns acquired Harris from the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason.
So far, Harris only has one catch for 4 yards this year.
No other Browns tight end has even been targeted this season.
Pharaoh Brown and Ricky Seals-Jones also seen increased snaps as well at the position.
The Browns signed Ricky Seals-Jones in the offseason from the Arizona Cardinals.
Seals-Jones had 34 catches for the Arizona Cardinals last season.
Freddie Kitchens on David Njoku:
“David is a good player so definitely him being limited right now or whatever presents problems for us,” Kitchens said. ‘This game in the National Football League is about attrition so you have to deal with it on your side and other teams do, as well. We will get the next guy in there and make sure he knows what to do. When somebody goes down, that is another opportunity for someone else so we will see how it goes.”
With all this being said, it will be quite a task and a great measuring stick for this young Brown’s team when they face the Rams this Sunday night.
The Rams boast a 2-0 record and have stars on both sides of the ball.
The Browns are now a team viewed as an underdog after being much-hyped before the season even began.
The Brown’s certainly know they can make a massive statement with a win Sunday night agains the defending NFC champions in front of a national audience.