Get the backups ready — and fast.
On Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns announced that starting left guard Joel Bitonio and backup offensive tackle Cameron Erving will both miss this Monday’s game against the New York Giants, and are considered week-to-week.
Both players were hurt during Tuesday’s practice. I recall seeing Bitonio’s injury right away, because as the play and ensuring scuffle took place downfield, Bitonio was down on a knee at the original line of scrimmage the entire time before walking it off. He is said to have a knee injury. Erving is listed as having a calf injury, which could explain why his punishment lap was so slow in the video I posted Tuesday.
The good thing is that after practice, head coach Hue Jackson seemed optimistic that neither player’s injury was major. And while he didn’t confirm either player would be available for Week 1, his answer (“I hope they’ll be available”) was a very promising one when you consider how vague coaches often are about player injuries.
“We will see where they are and hopefully, we get them back as soon as we can. I know our medical staff, they do everything they can to get our guys back soon. But I don’t think it is anything major that is going to keep them out a ton of time. I just think we have to work through some things to make sure we get those guys both healthy.”
Earlier in the day, Browns starting left tackle Joe Thomas confirmed that he would again sit out this week’s preseason game, before getting a normal workload in the third preseason game. The original line for Monday was expected to feature Erving (LT), Bitonio (LG), J.C. Tretter (C), Kevin Zeitler (RG), and Shon Coleman (RT). Now, rookie Rod Johnson will start at left tackle, and veteran John Greco will be at left guard.