The Cleveland Browns (4-1) will be without both of their strong safeties as well as their top offensive lineman they head into a pivotal game this Sunday against their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0).
Ronnie Harrison (concussion) and Karl Joseph (hamstring) were both ruled out on Friday along with guard Wyatt Teller (calf) and linebacker Jacob Phillips (knee). None of the four participated in practice throughout the week.
Harrison came up big in last Sunday’s victory against the Indianapolis Colts with an interception which he took 47 yards for a touchdown in the Browns’ 32-23 victory but left the game shortly after with a concussion.
The biggest absence will indeed be Wyatt Teller who has been playing at an All-Pro level and one of the biggest reasons behind the hot start of the Browns offense which comes into Sunday ranked fourth in scoring and first in rushing yards in the NFL. Chris Hubbard will get the spot at right guard and he’s been solid in relief at both right guard and right tackle this season.
Cleveland listed quarterback Baker Mayfield (chest), wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (illness), wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip/ribs), punter Jamie Gillan (groin), defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (abdomen), and defensive end Olivier Vernon (groin) all as questionable for Sunday and all but Beckham practiced in at least a limited form on Friday.
Beckham’s test results from Friday did come back negative along with the rest of the team which means Beckham is now allowed back in team headquarters and will be allowed to play on Sunday which is obviously an added boost for a Browns offense that has scored 30 points or more in four straight games.
On the Pittsburgh side of the injury report, the Steelers will be without two of their key components on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive guard David DeCastro (abs) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (back) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
DeCastro has been the Steelers best offensive lineman for much of the last decade being named to five Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pros and has been relatively healthy throughout his nine-year career although this will be his third missed game of the season as he missed the opening two games due to a knee injury.
Johnson is one of the many wide receivers Pittsburgh has been developing over the last couple of seasons. After a solid rookie campaign of 59 catches, 680 yards, and five touchdowns in 2019, Johnson already had 15 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown before injuring his back last Sunday against Philadelphia.
The injury however gave more playing time for rookie Chase Claypool and Claypool took full advantage as he scored four touchdowns to help the Steelers defeat the Eagles 38-29. Expect Claypool to start in Johnson’s absence and also expect more playing time for third-year wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud who also got more snaps in the wake of Johnson’s injury.