The Cleveland Browns take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6 of the NFL season. Given the Niners 5-0 record and outstanding play on each side of the ball, the spread/odds would not have been in the favor of the Browns if the team was completely healthy.
As we have covered in both injury report pots, Wednesday and Thursday, and when QB Deshaun Watson was ruled out earlier today, health is not on Cleveland’s side but San Francisco is almost completely healthy.
The 49ers-Browns spread has risen to 10 points at the news of Watson being out, now we find out that OL Joel Bitonio and WR Cedric Tillman will also be out. TE David Njoku and OL Ethan Pocic are questionable.
HC Kevin Stefanski provided updates on many of the players starting with the news that Bitonio had a knee scope during the bye week:
#Browns Joel Bitonio had a knee scope during the bye week, HC Kevin Stefanski said.— Kelsey Russo (@kelseyyrusso) October 13, 2023
OL Micahel Dunn will start in Bitonio’s place on Sunday.
Stefanski was optimistic about both Njoku and Pocic for the game in Cleveland this Sunday:
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he's feeling good about David Njoku being able to play Sunday.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) October 13, 2023
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said they think Ethan Pocic should make it Sunday, they'll keep monitoring him.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 13, 2023
“Feeling good” and “think” are mostly meaningless words as both players are officially questionable for the game which means they are “uncertain to play” based on NFL terminology.
Stefanski also spoke about Watson’s recovery and future:
#Browns Kevin Stefanski said he knows Deshaun Watson will be out there as soon as he's able.— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) October 13, 2023
"I know what he's made of...I know how badly he wants to compete."
Again, mostly meaningless except Stefanski is choosing optimistic instead of pessimistic language about his players’ potential for getting on the field.
We will have the official injury report for you when they are available. With the 49ers on west coast time, that will come later in the evening than normal.