With Myles Garrett, Anthony Walker, and Jadeveon Clowney all likely to miss Week 4, the Cleveland Browns need someone to step up or Week 4 could be a tough one
Entering the 2022 season, the Cleveland Browns appeared to have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Now as Week 4 approaches, they’ve been questioned due to communication issues in the secondary and will now have to replace several key starters.
Anthony Walker, Jr. was lost to a quad injury and is now on the IR. He might be joined by Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett as starters who won’t be on the field against Atlanta, although there’s hope for both defensive ends.
Clowney missed Week 3 with an ankle injury but has yet to be ruled out for the Atlanta game. Garrett was injured off the field in a car accident and is likely to miss at least this game — it would be a huge surprise if he did tough it out.
With them either out, or limited, several young players will be asked to step up. Alex Wright and Isaac Rochelle could see plenty of time at defensive end and Jacob Phillips is going to step into Walker’s shoes.
Even if these players do perform to the best of their ability, the Browns are going to need someone else to step up. Losing not just three starters, but three of the best players on the entire defense is enough to put any team in a hole.
The good news for Cleveland is that there’s no shortage of talented players. They have Denzel Ward, John Johnson III, Grant Delpit, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (who has a quad injury of his own). All were either drafted early or paid a lot of money to be difference-makers and now is the time for them to become exactly that.
Atlanta is tougher than their 1-2 record indicates and they have plenty of youth — and speed on offense. The offense can help by pounding the ball on the ground and limiting the defense’s exposure, but someone will need to make some stops to ensure they improve to 3-1 with a tough stretch around the corner.