At 2-2, the Cleveland Browns are set to face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6 of the 2023 NFL Season. It was already going to be a tough matchup but it became more daunting when it was announced that Deshaun Watson would miss his second game of the year.
This time, however, the Browns elected not to start rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Instead, they decided to put P.J. Walker into the game. Walker, a former XFL MVP, will make his debut with Cleveland and his eighth overall start in the league.
That might not be the only move they need to make heading into this weekend as we look at two players who need to see the ball more as well as one that shouldn't be force-fed as much as he has been.
Pierre Strong needs more touches
Entering this week, the Browns are still fifth in the NFL in rushing — which is a testament to what Nick Chubb did to kick off the season. Before suffering his knee injury, Chubb had 170 yards on 28 attempts for an average of 6.1 yards per rush.
Since he's been out, Jerome Ford has carried the torch and he has 186 yards but it's taken him 50 attempts (3.7 yards per carry). Ford also did a huge portion of that damage when he broke off a 69-yard run against the Steelers in Week 2.
Looking ahead to their matchup with San Francisco, the Browns will need to get the ground game going again, and with Ford running for fewer than four yards per touch, they might want to try and get Pierre Strong more opportunities.
Added in a trade with the New England Patriots ahead of the regular season, Strong has 13 attempts for 77 yards and a touchdown — that's an average of 5.9 yards per attempt. While the sample size is small, he's been more effective than Kareem Hunt, who has 10 attempts for 25 yards. That's why Cleveland would be wise to see if Strong can give their offense a shot in the arm.