The Cleveland Browns announced Saturday second-year starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. will miss the Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Wills, 22, didn’t practice this week as he’s battled through an ankle injury he initially suffered in the Browns’ season-opening loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sunday’s game will mark Wills’ first missed game of the season.
Wills will miss his 1st game of the season with an ankle injury.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 9, 2021
Wills has played 190 offensive snaps this season, which makes up 68% of the team’s offensive snaps.
In each of the last four games, Wills has missed time.
Wills only missed one game in the 2020 season.
The Browns could start fourth-round rookie James Hudson III or Blake Hance in Wills’ place.
Hudson is listed as Wills’ backup on the Browns’ official depth chart.
In Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings, Hudson played 21 offensive snaps filling in for Wills.
Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan said Friday he didn’t think Hudson was overmatched against the Vikings.
“When you go against Myles Garrett and (Jadeveon) Clowney every day, it’s a little bit different,” Callahan said. “That gives you a sense of like, ‘Hey, I’ve seen this speed, I’ve seen the different changes of speed, I’ve seen the different moves and maneuvers that a defensive lineman can give me.’
“He’s still young and he’s still learning. But at least he has exposure to it and he’s seen it, so it doesn’t freak him out in the middle of a game like, ‘I haven’t seen this move. I haven’t seen that.’ He’s seen the full repertoire, trust me.”
Hance filled in for Wills in the Browns’ second and third games.
The Browns played Hance 18 offensive snaps in Week 2 against the Houston Texans and 11 offensive snaps in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears.
“He’s an interesting guy,” Callahan said of Hance. “He’s smart, he’s dependable, he can get in all the right positions, so he can play across the board, and not many players can do that.
“He can play the tackle position, he can play the guard position, the center position, so he’s extremely versatile as an offensive lineman. Usually, those guys are stuck into a two-way position, but he gives us flexibility across the board, which is a real positive for us.”
Hudson or Hance will need to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield’s blindside as he plays through a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
News broke on Friday that offensive tackle Chris Hubbard is expected to have season-ending surgery on his triceps.
On Friday, Callahan and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said they were hopeful Wills could play against the Chargers.
Stefanski declined to say Friday which player would start if Wills was unable to play.
Callahan told media members Wills went around the Browns’ practice facility with an ice bucket to try to speed up the healing process in his ankle.
The Browns will look to slow down three-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Joey Bosa.
However, Bosa typically lines up over an opposing offense’s right tackle.
The Chargers could look to move Bosa around to take advantage of Wills’ injury.
Through four games of the 2021 season, Bosa has 2.5 sacks, 11 tackles, two forced fumbles and six quarterback hits.
Pro Football Focus has ranked Bosa as the second-best edge defender in the NFL so far this season.
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