3 ways Browns got screwed by the NFL on 2023 schedule

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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2. Way too early bye week

When the NFL schedule makers go out and force teams to play on Thursday Night Football just days after going all-in on Sunday, it becomes easy to question if they truly understand what the players go through on the field.

It's even easier to question it when they give a team a bye week after just four games. That's exactly what happened to the Browns in 2023 as they will play their four-game gauntlet only to then take one week off — followed by 13 weeks without a break.

Cleveland isn't alone as they'll be joined by the Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers who also wound up with the earliest week off of the season. But just because three other teams got screwed doesn't mean this should even be an option — because a Week 5 bye is way too early.

Having said all that, the league can turn around and say it was the Browns turn. They had an ideal bye week in 2022, which came in Week 9.

The year prior, they had a late one, not getting a break until Week 13. That too has its own issues but it's much more preferable to come back with just five games to go than the other way around.

With 18 weeks in the season, the league really needs to consider pushing back the start of bye weeks. There's no reason to force teams to go so long without a break when it's an easy fix.