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Browns rule out an offensive starter for game vs. Pittsburgh

Cleveland dealing with some other injuries as they prepare for season finale against the Steelers.

New Orleans Saints v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns ruled out a pair of players on Friday for their season finale game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.

Right tackle Jack Conklin, who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win against the Washington Commanders and defensive end Isaiah Thomas, who is dealing with a foot injury, are both out for the game.

In addition, cornerback Denzel Ward is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.

Conklin’s absence is another blow to an offensive line that has not been able to stay healthy this season as right guard Wyatt Teller and center Ethan Pocic have also both missed time with injuries.

The Browns will likely turn to James Hudson III to take over for Conklin, which could present a bit of a problem for quarterback Deshaun Watson. The last time the Browns visited Pittsburgh, which was in Week 16 of last season, Hudson was also filling in for Conklin and he was worked over by Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt to the tune of four sacks.

Thomas missing the game presents a bit of a depth issue at defensive end, seeing as how the Browns sent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney home from practice on Friday following Clowney’s less-than-flattering comments to about how he believes he has been misused this season.

It seems likely that the Browns will make Clowney inactive for Sunday’s game, so expect to see a heavy dose of Alex Wright and Chase Winovich opposite defensive end Myles Garrett as Cleveland looks to harass Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.