Jordan Elliott, along with the rest of us, had no idea how COVID-19 would shake things up when he was drafted back in April.
Turns out, the situation will give him a much bigger role for the Cleveland Browns.
As the 2020 season approaches, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Because of that, many players across the National Football League are deciding to sit this upcoming season out.
It’s understandable, due to how out of hands things have gotten with the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Browns defensive tackle Andrew Billings became the 50th NFL player to opt-out of this season.
Thank you all for your support, stay safe and see you in 2021! #Browns pic.twitter.com/crvoWmFwZD
— Andrew Billings (@BillingsAndrew) August 5, 2020
As Billings states in his tweet, complications of COVID-19 become much worse for those who have asthma.
It makes plenty of sense as to why he will not be playing this year.
Fans will have to wait until 2021 to see what the former Bengal can do in a new shade of orange.
Billings opting out means those behind him on the depth chart all have increased roles.
While he wasn’t expected to start over Larry Ogunjobi or Sheldon Richardson, he would have been the first option off the bench if one of those two needed a breather or was injured.
Instead, that role will likely belong to Jordan Elliott.
All the other issues last year overshadowed Cleveland’s lack of depth up front defensively. Adding Billings was supposed to address that. Browns now need rookie DT Jordan Elliott to step up.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 4, 2020
The third-round pick out of Missouri received All-SEC honors and is one of the more athletic defensive tackles to come out of this year’s draft class.
The team website’s breakdown of Elliott, including input from Dane Brugler of The Athletic, speaks very highly of Elliott.
“Elliott’s explosiveness is his biggest strength as a defensive tackle, and it showed last season in his 8.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. When Elliott has space to make a move, he consistently capitalizes and finds ways to not only reach the quarterback, but deliver bone-crushing hits. Those abilities are sometimes limited when Elliott plays tall and stiff, which will be the biggest improvement he’ll have to make to reach NFL success, but the rest of his game is fairly polished for a third-round selection.”
Elliott was very disruptive in opposing backfields during his time as a Tiger.
If he can bring that same effort to Cleveland, the depth he’ll provide will compliment the rest of the defense extremely well.
Jordan Elliott cannot be contained. pic.twitter.com/hKZxtjKFO8
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 23, 2018
Again, Elliott will be listed on the depth chart as a backup.
However, with new defensive coordinator looking to stick with his 4-3 system,
Ogunjobi and Richardson will be getting a lot of snaps on the interior.
They’ll need to be rotated out, and that’s where Elliott comes in.
He doesn’t need to come in and try to make superstar level plays.
If he can just do what is asked of him and not commit penalties, he’ll be able to keep that job throughout the season.
Cleveland was the fourth-most penalized team in the league in 2019.
That same lack of discipline will be unacceptable this year for Kevin Stefanski.
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