The unfortunate theme of the Cleveland Browns’ training camp and preseason has been injuries. Starters and important back-ups alike have been falling victim to a wide array of afflictions – some worse than others – and it has tested the supposed thin depth of this team early and often.
Two prominent starters in tight end Benjamin Watson and linebacker Chris Gocong are currently experiencing injuries of their own, further weakening both Browns’ units. Watson is recovering from a hip injury and is anticipating that he will play on Sunday, though the emergence of Evan Moore would have made his absence a little more bearable than Gocong’s.
Gocong is dealing with a neck injury and the timetable for his return is a little cloudier than Watson’s. He hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday’s season opener, and the coaching staff is taking a wait-and-see attitude as the week goes on. It could be argued that the weakest position on the Browns is the linebacker corps, if only in terms of depth, so the team will really be hoping for a speedy recovery for Gocong.
The Browns are favorites against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday (the current line has them as 6.5 point favorites), and likely could get away by not having a few key starters healthy, but as the season chugs along, this will become a much bigger concern.