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Browns rule out DE Jadeveon Clowney for Thursday night

Cleveland will be without Clowney and two backups for divisional game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

New York Jets v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns will be without starting defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on Thursday night when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a key AFC North Division game.

Clowney was ruled out of the game on Monday with an ankle injury he suffered while chasing New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco during Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Jets.

Clowney was reportedly in a walking boot after the game, according to

In addition to Clowney, the Browns also ruled out backup defensive end Chase Winovich, who aggravated a hamstring injury that bothered him throughout the preseason, and backup tight end Jesse James with a bicep injury.

With Clowney and Winovich both out, the Browns will likely give the start to rookie Alex Wright to take over the starting role with fellow rookie Isaiah Thomas backing him up.

Against the Jets, Wright played 30 snaps on defense and recorded a tipped pass, while Thomas was in for nine plays without registering a stat.

Clowney has had injury issues in the past, although he did play in 14 games last season with the Browns, and was off to a nice start this season with 1.5 sacks and a pair of knocked-down passes in the first two games.

Hopefully, his being ruled out this week is more a function of the game being played on Thursday as opposed to Sunday, rather than an indication of something more serious.

The Browns will miss Clowney against the Steelers, but it may not matter all that much if the defensive secondary can’t get their communication issues fixed before they take the field against Pittsburgh.