The Cleveland Browns face an uphill battle during their playoff matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
A loaded roster that only lost two games during the regular season and one of those was without superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Although, the Chiefs could be without some of their star players for Sunday’s matchup.
Kansas City has ruled out former first round pick wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Sammy Watkins, Willie Gay and Deon Yelder didn't practice for the Chiefs today, per Coach Reid.
Reid said that Watkins and Gay will be listed as out for Sunday. Edwards-Helaire is making progress and will be listed as questionable.
— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) January 15, 2021
The organization could also be without rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
He is currently listed as questionable with a hip and ankle injury.
The fact that the Chiefs are banged up could be good news for the Browns on Sunday.
What This Means For Cleveland
That trio is going to be the biggest problem for the Browns defense.
However, losing Watkins is significant for the Chiefs offense.
The 27-year-old hauled in 37 receptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns through 14 games this season.
While those aren’t incredible numbers, Watkins still does plenty of great things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.
Sammy Watkins football IQ ✅ pic.twitter.com/U2rfrdTLBq
— QB Film Room (@QBFilmRoom) January 12, 2020
Although, the loss of Edwards-Helaire might even be a bigger blow to the Chiefs roster.
He rushed for 803 yards and four touchdowns with 36 receptions for 297 yards and a score through the air.
The LSU product has been an X-factor for this Chiefs offense all season long.
Kansas City is likely going to wait until closer to game time before deciding if he’ll suit up for Sunday’s contest.
Next Man Up
The Chiefs do have some quality depth in the case that both players are sidelined.
Former fourth round pick wide receiver Demarcus Robinson will be asked to step up with Watkins sidelined.
The fifth-year player actually put up better numbers than Watkins in 2020.
Although, the gifted athletic ability of Watkins will be missed on Sunday.
The loss of Watkins will hurt, but Robinson and Mecole Hardman should be able to ease the pain.
The Browns might have to worry about running back Le’Veon Bell, assuming Edwards-Helaire is out.
Bell does have some pretty impressive numbers in the postseason.
Le'Veon Bell Career Playoff Stats (4 games)
424 rushing yards
3 rushing TD's
91 receiving yards
1 receiving TD
65% catch % (receptions/targets)
27 total first downs@ChiefsFocus @JpChiefs #ChiefsKingdom @LeVeonBell pic.twitter.com/fFsehSgxG8
— ChiefsFocus: Behind The Numbers (@CFStatistics) January 15, 2021
It’s worth noting that Bell has not looked the same since joining the Chiefs.
He rushed for 254 yards with two touchdowns in nine games with Kansas City.
Bell is still a threat in the backfield, but Edwards-Helaire has looked much better this season.
The Browns are still heavy underdogs for this game, but these injuries are impactful.
Possibly, Cleveland has a better chance at slowing down the Chiefs offense without Watkins or Edwards-Helaire.