The injuries keep on coming for the Cleveland Browns, as on Wednesday, it was revealed that starting left guard Joel Bitonio has a mid-foot injury that will keep him out “an extended period of time.”
Bitonio had been one of the team’s best run blockers this season, so his absence will no doubt hurt the Browns’ well-ranked rushing attack. Cleveland has already had a lot of shuffling at center and right guard, and now it gets even more complex with left guard in disarray.
Head coach Hue Jackson said they are trying to get newly-acquired OG Jonathan Cooper, the former 7th overall pick of the draft, up-to-speed, but the chances of him playing right away (he is coming off of injury too) are unlikely.
#Browns HC Hue Jackson said we'll see if we can get guard Jonathan Cooper up to speed, his first exposure to Cooper— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 12, 2016
Much of what Cleveland does this week will be dictated by whether C Cameron Erving has a good week of practice and is able to return to the starting lineup. If he can return, we’ll probably see John Greco slide over to left guard and Alvin Bailey remaining at right guard. If Erving isn’t ready, then C Anthony Fabiano will probably be re-signed from the practice squad.
All-Pro LT Joe Thomas also missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury. He is expected to play on Sunday.