Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku has reportedly decided to not have surgery on his broken wrist.
The news was reported by Mary Kay Cabot at cleveland.com, citing a “league source.”
That could be a positive sign that Njoku will be able to return before the end of the season. The Browns placed the third-year player on injured reserve last week and Njoku must miss a minimum of eight games, meaning that his earliest return date would be November 24 against the Miami Dolphins.
Njoku was injured in the Week 2 victory over the New York Jets after he went up for a pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield, was flipped and landed on his head after a hit in the first quarter. In addition to injuring his wrist, that hit landed Njoku in the league’s concussion protocol.
His cast is visible in this video from an event the Browns held today:
With Njoku sidelined the options at tight end are not very encouraging, especially given that wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry draw a lot of attention on the outside from opposing defenses, leaving the middle of the field open for exploitation.
In Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones had one catch (on two targets) for 14 yards, while tight end Demetrius Harris had a two-yard touchdown catch, his only reception (on two targets) on the day.
Njoku, who is in his third season with the Browns, had four receptions and a touchdown this season before being injured. For his career he has 92 receptions for 1,062 yards and nine touchdowns.