Cleveland Browns Storyline No. 2: Can the dreaded injury bug be avoided?
Even though the Browns have suffered an inordinate amount of soft tissue injuries in training camp, for the most part they have avoided catastrophic injuries. The Browns currently have six players on the IR: Stephen Carlson, Connor Davis, Tre Harbison, Montrel Meander, Ryan Switzer, and Alex Taylor. Out of the six injured players, only Carlson would have played a meaningful role for this team.
Because these players were placed on the IR before the final roster cutdown, their season is officially over. Although, the biggest injury not listed on the IR, the torn bicep tendon of Jacob Phillips, will have roster ramifications. There is an outside chance that Phillips will be able to return later in the season, so the team will count him as one of their 53 and then place him on the temporary IR.
Coach Stefanski and his staff have attempted to ease players coming off injury back into action. Every player was handled according to their injury, age, and injury history. But, alas the injury bug remained burrowed inside of the Browns training camp.
The idea of avoiding the injury bug goes hand in hand with our first storyline and is the main reason we will not see any players of significance in the preseason finale. Just bubble wrap them up and get to Kansas City as intact as they can possibly be.
At the end of the day, you can only control what you can control, and football is an inherently dangerous sport. However, the next man up philosophy does not need to be implemented before any actual games are played if it can be avoided. That should be the Browns main goal of this final preseason game.