Browns rookie pass-rushers will have prime opportunity on Thursday night

Cleveland Browns, Jadeveon Clowney. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, Jadeveon Clowney. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Jadeveon Clowney is among three Browns who were ruled out for TNF vs. the Steelers. Now, rookie pass-rushers will have a big-time role against Pittsburgh.

Cleveland Browns edge rushers Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) and Chase Winovich (hamstring), as well as tight end Jesse James (bicep), will all miss Thursday Night Football against their divisional rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

On the active roster, the Browns are down to Myles Garrett and rookies Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas. Isaac Rochell is expected to be elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster prior to Thursday.

Either way, the Browns will need to rely on two rookie defensive ends to apply pressure to Cleveland native Mitchell Trubisky.

Alex Wright, a rookie third-round pick by the Browns, will likely get the start alongside superstar Myles Garrett. The UAB product, Wright is still looking for his first sack as a pro. As a rational edge-rusher through two games, Alex Wright has made 2 tackles.

Isaiah Thomas, the only other pass-rusher currently on the active roster, is a seventh-round rookie. Thomas had a strong camp and preseason and will be a pivotal rotational piece on the defensive line on Thursday.

Clowney will be a big loss for the Browns’ defense. He has 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and two deflected passes.

With Jesse James out as well, Cleveland only has two tight ends on the active roster in David Njoku and Harrison Bryant. However, the team will likely elevate one of the two tight ends from the practice squad. Miller Forristall and Zaire Mitchell-Paden are both potential candidates.

Cleveland is hoping to get back former All-Pro offensive tackle Jack Conklin back from injury. Conklin has yet to play this season due to an elbow injury he suffered in 2021.

Next. Browns Week 2 Grades: Defense, special teams fail in epic collapse. dark