The 2022 season has apparently come to an end for Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
With the Browns preparing to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, they will do so without the veteran after head coach Kevin Stefanski made the decision to sideline Clowney over his negative statements about the team, according to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.
I’m told #Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told the team at practice that Jadeveon Clowney would not play Sunday vs the #Steelers, per sources.— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 7, 2023
Cleveland has officially downgraded Clowney to out for Sunday’s game and listed it as “not injury related.”
On Thursday, Clowney voiced his frustrations to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com and claimed that the Browns intentionally put Clowney in unfavorable matchups in an effort to showcase defensive end Myles Garrett.
On Friday, the Browns sent Clowney home from practice but the story did not end there. In addition to Garrett saying that the team wants “volunteers, not hostages,” defensive line coach Chris Kiffin revealed that Clowney was upset as far back as the October 23 game against the Baltimore Ravens when Clowney refused to play anything but in third-down situations because the Browns were moving players around to create favorable matchups (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“For his two years here ... we have always tried to match up Myles on their weaker links and JD (Clowney) on their weaker links and move both of those guys around. We have always done that. When we had Takk (McKinley) here, trying to move all of those guys. We do it every week. He was frustrated with the way we used him in that game and putting Myles on the weak link. We addressed it, we moved on and we tried to scheme the best we could to get him favorable matchups the rest of the year.”
Clowney is due to be a free agent after the season and after this week it is highly unlikely that the Browns would want him back for another year.
In two seasons with the Browns, Clowney played in 26 games, with 11 sacks and 65 tackles while continuing to deal with injuries.