The Cleveland Browns will have to try to win with totally new WRs on Sunday
The Cleveland Browns will be without Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge versus the New York Jets on Sunday. Linebacker Jacob Phillips is also out. This report came out Saturday night.
Marvin Hall is the only professional wide receiver not removed from the roster. However, Hall has not taken any game snaps for the Browns, having just come over from Detroit. Getting cut by the Lions is not exactly a compliment, but it is possible to understand how a player could get in trouble there. Still, it’s not clear how much of the playbook he actually knows.
Ja’Marcus Bradley, an undrafted rookie wide receiver from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. He had previously been elevated to the Cleveland Browns active roster and saw game action against the Tennessee Titans, but was not targeted by Baker Mayfield and did not record any stats.
Bradley was promoted from the Browns practice squad under a new rule which allows up to two practice squad players to be promoted for up to two games without being counted against the 53 player limit. He was then they can be returned to the practice squad without having to clear waivers. Bradley is getting his shot this week because KhaDarel Hodge is banged up with an uncooperative hamstring.
The Browns have added wide receiver Derrick Willies, who was with the team in 2018. Willies did make a very positive impression in a short time, both on special teams as well as on offense, where he had a true shot at becoming a third wide receiver. In fact, he caught some big-time passes from Baker Mayfield in the thrilling 12-9 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens that season.
Injuries set him back, however, and it has taken him this long to make it back to the practice field. The immense advantage is that he and Mayfield know each other very well. Is he still the same player that he was in 2018? That remains to be seen.
Other wide receivers? Hello Kareem Hunt and David Njoku. Don’t laugh. In the past, the Browns have split them wide from time to time. Plus, Cleveland has plenty of plays that they can operate from two-tight end formations, and in the past, they have split Kareem Hunt and David Njoku wide from time to time.
It’s not an ideal situation. But the Jets have to face Chubb, Hunt, and all those tight ends plus Baker Mayfield and that is not exactly a bed of roses for a team that is 1-13.
The Browns will have to find some way to operate with two tight ends and a fullback, and perhaps players at wide receiver that we usually don’t notice at that position. The two tight end offense was their modus operandi earlier in the season, so let’s see about doing it again.
Later, the question will have to be asked why these receivers were all exposed. Were they not wearing masks, or what? Could better isolation procedures have mitigated the exposure? At this time, we don’t know.
In any case, Browns fans, you are just not allowed to panic when the opponent is 1-13. It’s just not allowed. It will be fun to see how this plays out.