The two most important players to the Cleveland Browns going into Week 5 missed Week 4. DEs Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney were both questionable going into last weekend after not practicing all week. The team ruled Garrett out Saturday morning and Clowney was inactive when the game rolled around.
The disruption of Garrett along with the length and strength of Clowney are key to the team’s defense. Without those two, along with fellow starter DT Taven Bryan, the defense can’t function as it was designed. The team’s lighter linebackers aren’t free to run around and make plays without the protection of those three starters upfront.
HC Kevin Stefanski is normally pretty coy about injuries in his press conferences but expects updates on Garrett and Clowney on Wednesday:
Without their two starters and with Chase Winovich on injured reserve, the defensive end group was overwhelmed most of the game. Very little pressure and an inability to stop the run allowed the Atlanta Falcons to take control of the game in the fourth quarter.
With the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town, even with injuries keeping a few of their stars out of the game, Cleveland needs as much help on the defensive line as possible.
While unlikely, it is possible that Stefanski provides a detailed report on the two starting defensive ends and Bryant on Wednesday. More likely fans will be wondering until late in the week or when the inactive report comes out to find out the status of the team’s starting defensive line.