Get ready, folks, it's nearly Cleveland Browns playoff football time! For the second time in four years under head coach Kevin Stefanski, Cleveland is heading to the postseason and will take on the Texans in Houston on Saturday afternoon to kick the playoffs off.
This has been one of the most bizarre seasons for the Browns with all of the injuries, yet at the same time, it's arguably the most fun this franchise has had since coming back to the NFL in 1999. Yes, they beat the Steelers in their home stadium in 2020 and fought the Chiefs to the end the next week, but this season is different. There has been a ton of adversity, but this team has shown great resiliency.
Here are the three big storylines when the Browns take on the Texans in the Wild Card Round.
3. The defense is starting to get healthy
The Browns have been plagued with injuries from Week 1 with key injuries all over the roster. The offense took the brunt of injuries in the early goings of the season and later on, the defense got bit by the nasty injury bug, but it appears as if that unit is starting to get healthy.
Grant Delpit has missed the last four weeks with a groin injury but returned to practice on Wednesday in a limited capacity. Now, this doesn't guarantee that he will play on Saturday, but this is the first step in the right direction. Delpit was having a terrific season before the injury, and the way he was used enhanced this already stout unit.
Myles Garrett battled through a shoulder injury for a bulk of the second half of the season, and more recently a hamstring injury. Luckily the Browns were in position to rest their starters in Week 18, so Garrett got that much more time to rest up. Garrett is the front runner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but that singular award means nothing to him as he wants the big award, aka, the Super Bowl.
Ogbo Okoronkwo, who suffered a pectoral tear towards the end of the regular season has been limited in practice the last two days, and that would be a massive get back for the Browns. Juan Thornhill, who has endured nagging injuries, was also limited.