The Cleveland Browns Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals is coming up quickly.
It’s a big one for both sides, too.
Cleveland sits at 2-5 and is in danger of letting the season slip away completely.
Cincinnati is surging and is looking to take control of the AFC North.
As is typical in the NFL, both sides are a bit beat up late in the week.
The Browns are especially banged up with a sizable list of guys not participating in practice on Thursday.
Per this list from Tom Withers of the Associated Press, there are several key names who missed practice.
#Browns not practicing:
_ Brown (concussion)
_ Clowney (ankle)
_ Garrett (shoulder, biceps)
_ Owusu-Koramoah (knee)
_ Njoku (ankle)
_ Teller (calf)
_ Ward (concussion)
_ Williams (illness)
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) October 27, 2022
With time running out before Monday night, what does this mean for Cleveland heading into the weekend?
Next Man Up
Having a next man up mentality has been integral for Cleveland the past few seasons.
There have been some big injuries with key positions, and lower guys on the depth chart have had to stay ready.
Think to when Odell Beckham Jr. went down in 2020.
That stung for the Browns offense, however, it allowed a rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones to emerge and get more reps.
That’s helped spring him to a nice start to his career despite being just a sixth-round draft pick.
Even this year already, the Browns have had to adjust because of injuries.
The trade for linebacker Deion Jones essentially had to happen considering how injury-riddled that group is.
The offensive line is another group with backups seeing more and more snaps.
Jack Conklin continues to miss time dealing with knee issues.
Wyatt Teller’s calf problems have caused him to miss time too.
Guys like James Hudson have been called on to step up in those situations.
Hudson is one who has taken advantage of his extra time.
Browns RT James Hudson in Week 1:
🟤 76.0 PFF grade
🟠 73.3 pass block grade
🟤 80.9 run block grade pic.twitter.com/i7cstLIluy
— PFF CLE Browns (@PFF_Browns) September 13, 2022
Missing starters is never ideal.
However, it’s familiar territory for this Browns team.
We’ll see how they adjust based on how many guys on that list become available for Monday.
Get What You Can
A couple of the guys who missed practice Thursday were on the unofficial Week Eight depth chart released on Wednesday.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 26, 2022
With Monday being so important, the Browns will certainly take what they can get from whoever on that list is good to go come game time.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense are surging, scoring at least 30 points in their last two outings.
As of now, it seems a near impossible task for anyone to slow them down, let alone a scuffling, injured Cleveland defense.
Bengals are Beat Up Too
Bengals fans did get some horrendous news Thursday.
Wide receiver Jamarr Chase will be sidelined anywhere from four to six weeks as he recovers from a hip injury.
Bengals’ WR Ja’Marr Chase is dealing with a hip injury that is expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks and makes him a prime candidate for injured reserve, per sources. Chase visited with a hip specialist Wednesday and is seeking more answers about his injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2022
That’s one less threat the Browns secondary has to deal with this week.
Still, Burrow and the Bengals offense have figured some things out in recent weeks.
If the Browns don’t come ready, regardless of how many starters are out there, it’ll be a long and miserable Monday night.