Wills has been dealing with an ankle injury since Week 1, and while he started each of Cleveland’s last three games he also had to leave each game as the injury worsened.
Wills will miss his 1st game of the season with an ankle injury.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 9, 2021
With Wills out, the Browns will turn to either Blake Hance or rookie James Hudson III, neither of whom have stood out in relief of Wills the past few weeks.
A possible silver lining in all this is that Wills has not been practicing during the week, which means Hance and Hudson have had the opportunity to work with the rest of the starting offensive line.
While quarterback Baker Mayfield may not agree, offensive line coach Bill Callahan said he is not nervous about the situation (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“As a coach, you are always preparing all of your players to start. I always go by the mantra that there is no such thing as backups. If you are in the line room, you are a potential starter, and you have to prepare like a starter and practice like a starter so that it is a seamless transition when you enter the game. That is how I feel. When those guys come in, I am not nervous. I am really confident that they are going to play hard, they are going to play well and they know what to do. That gives me great hope with these young guys. They want to play. They want to get out there and be their best. It is just a different mindset for us than maybe somebody else.”
The Browns also made a few other transactions on Saturday, most notably by activating linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. to the roster after a three-game stay on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.
Anthony Walker is back on the active roster after 3 weeks on Injured Reserve.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 9, 2021
That was one of those “as expected” moves as Walker was designated to return earlier in the week.
The club also re-signed defensive end Joe Jackson, who was waived on Thursday, to the practice squad and then promoted Jackson and safety Jovante Moffatt to the roster for Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
Jackson was released in the final roster cutdown this year, but quickly re-signed after the Browns placed linebacker Jacob Phillips on injured reserve. Jackson played in four games this season, totaling 29 snaps on defense, and was credited with two tackles and a sack.
Moffatt played in nine games with the Browns in 2020, and has spent the first four weeks of this season on the club’s practice squad.