The Cleveland Browns will be without a ton of starters in Saturday’s must-win game. Expectations for Case Keenum should be lowered due to this.
The Cleveland Browns continue to get destroyed by positive COVID19 tests, and they will play a game this Sunday with eight or more starters likely out. Those starters now include quarterback, Baker Mayfield who tested positive on Wednesday.
There’s a chance that a few of these vaccinated players could return, but it is feeling like a real long shot, especially with the game being on Saturday. Some believed the NFL may look at rescheduling, but to this point, it seems like the game will happen on Saturday no matter what else happens to the Cleveland Browns locker room.
The bottom line, expectations for Case Keenum, a coveted backup in the NFL, should be low. Not only will he be missing the top tight-end and top receiver on the roster, he will also have two backup tackles, and a backup guard protecting him. It also appears to be a long shot for Kareem Hunt to be available as well.
I don’t write this to protect Keenum, but it’s just the truth. He will have a limited group of receivers and tight ends who haven’t played a lot in the NFL to throw to, and a young group of offensive linemen protecting him. Receivers will likely struggle to get open, and there won’t be a lot of time to run the ball.
Until today, I felt better about the defense just holding the Raiders to 10 or fewer points, but with John Johnson and Troy Hill likely out as well, this team is battered on both sides of the ball.
Alex Van Pelt will be in a tough spot stepping in for Kevin Stefanski, who will also miss the game because of COVID19. Look for a lot of screen passes, outside zones, and play-action passes to help the entire offense get into a rhythm.
The NFL is a business, and there isn’t a lot of sympathy in business. The Cleveland Browns need to have the “next man up” mentality and take care of business in a game they must win to keep their playoff hopes alive.