Injuries have made it uncertain whether or not Myles Garrett and Joel Bitonio will play against the Steelers on Thursday. During Sunday’s 31-30 loss to the Jets, Garrett was injured in the neck and Bitonio was hurt in the biceps. Although they both played the entire game, they did not participate in the week’s lone complete session on Tuesday.
Before Thursday night’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium against the 1-1 Steelers, both will require as much rest and treatment as possible.
Already declared out with a right ankle injury was defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and on Tuesday, the team placed defensive end Chase Winovich (hamstring) and tight end Jesse James (biceps) on injured reserve, where they must remain for at least four games.
When asked if he thought Winovich and James’ injuries were season-ending, Stefanski indicated he wasn’t sure. Since Clowney is his sack partner, he knows that his absence has a major effect on Garrett.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 20, 2022
We’ve discussed how the guy matched up against Myles is typically overlooked, and Stefanski confirmed as much: JD is another disruptive player who draws the attention of opposing teams. He’s quite effective against the run, racking up sacks and pressures with his constant effort. Thus, someone must take charge, and all we ask is that whoever it is who steps up does so to the best of their abilities.
To replace Clowney in the starting lineup, Stefanski has high praise for defensive end rookie Alex Smith. He has gotten off to a great start, having batted a pass in both of the first two games.
Alex, in particular, has shown a remarkable response, Stefanski remarked. A lot of things have gone through his hands in these games, so he must be doing something well. He leads a highly busy lifestyle.
In addition to Garrett, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is also out for Thursday’s game due to an ankle injury. Cleveland is also missing starting left guard Joel Bitonio, who suffered a knee injury on Monday and did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. Linebacker Chase Winovich (hamstring) and tight end Jesse James (biceps) have also been placed on injured reserve by the Browns.
If Garrett were to miss the next two weeks of the regular season, that defense would take a significant hit. The Browns are presently ranked 22nd on third downs, 26th in points allowed, and 25th in passing yards allowed. When facing elimination last Sunday at home against the Jets, the unit completely imploded, surrendering two touchdowns in the game’s closing 90 seconds.
The Steelers, like the Browns, are looking to get back on track after a disheartening Week 2 home loss. While the Steelers defense did its job, the offense, led by new starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, managed only 14 points and seemed oddly conservative in a three-point loss to the Patriots.
With the total set at 38.5 points, Caesars Sportsbook has Cleveland as a five-point favorite on Thursday. Both squads have split their first two games, going 1-1 versus the spread and 1-1 versus the total.
Bears’ first-year quarterback Justin Fields was sacked by Garrett 4.5 times. He surpassed Andra Davis’s previous mark of six sacks in a game to become the franchise’s all-time leader in that category. In the end, the Browns triumphed 26-6. The American Football Conference named him their Defensive Player of the Week due to his efforts.
Garrett recorded his season-high 14th sack in Week 12 against the Baltimore Ravens when he sacked quarterback, Lamar Jackson. That is tied for the most sacks by a Cleveland Brown in a season. Before Reggie Camp, no one has ever accomplished this feat.
Garrett scored his first career NFL touchdown when he strip-sacked Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley in Week 14. Garrett then recovered Huntley’s fumble. In doing so, he surpassed Reggie Camp’s single-season Browns sacks record of 14 with his personal season total of 15. Within the first 13 games of a 17-game schedule, this record was shattered.
In Week 14 of Madden NFL 22, Garrett earned a perfect 99 overall rating, making him the only Cleveland Browns player to ever achieve such a feat. With 16 sacks and 51 tackles, both career highs, Garrett had a fantastic year. He made the 2021 All-Pro First Team and the 2022 Pro Bowl as a result of these honors.
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