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Browns expect David Njoku to take a step forward in 2020

Head coach Kevin Stefanski has big plans for veteran tight end who is entering an important season.

Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The 2019 season was a lost one for Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku.

But that might all change in 2020, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski.

Speaking on Tuesday at the annual NFL Scouting Combine, Stefanski said the Browns have “big plans” for Njoku, according to cleveland.com:

“I’m looking forward to working with him. There’s an obvious skillset there. There’s a reason he was drafted that high (No. 29 overall). I think you can see it just in his physical ability and it’s a big year for David. I’ve explained that to him.

“He knows that and a lot of that is going to be up to him and the amount of work he puts into this and we have big plans for him but it’s about, for him, coming back in the building and working and then ultimately being able to see if we can utilize him in a role that can take advantage of some of his skillset.”

Njoku came into last season looking to build off a solid 2018, where he had 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns. But he suffered a broken wrist in the Week 2 game against the New York Jets, which landed him on injured reserve.

He did not return to the field until the Week 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but quickly found himself in the doghouse of former head coach Freddie Kitchens. Njoku did not appear again until the season finale, when he played just four plays against the Baltimore Ravens.

Kitchens is gone, however, and Stefanski is in charge and he likes to use multiple tight ends in a variety of ways. That should give Njoku plenty of opportunities to show the Browns that they made the right call when they selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.