The Cleveland Browns appear close to getting on of their key playmakers back on the offensive side of the ball.
Tight end David Njoku — who’s been on injured reserve since Sept. 20 with a broken wrist he suffered in a Week 2 victory against the Jets — announced on social media that he had been “activated.”
The Browns have not made an official announcement on Njoku’s return to the lineup, and he was not on the practice field on Monday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
David Njoku an Important Piece for Browns Going Forward
Njoku decided not to have surgery on the wrist in hopes of returning this season. He’ll be a key addition to a Browns offense that has looked better of late. Head coach Freddie Kitchens spoke on the important of the pass-catching TE when he went down.
“David is a good player so definitely him being limited right now or whatever presents problems for us,” Kitchens said. “This game in the National Football League is about attrition so you have to deal with it on your side and other teams do, as well. We will get the next guy in there and make sure he knows what to do. When somebody goes down, that is another opportunity for someone else so we will see how it goes.”
Njoku, a former first round pick of the Browns, is a physical specimen at 6-foot-4, 246 pounds with 4.6 40-yard dash speed. He was taken in the first round of the 2017 by the Browns.
Last year, Njoku essentially doubled his production in the passing game from his rookie season, collecting 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns. He caught four balls for 18 yards and one touchdown in the Browns opener against the Titans.
This season Njoku was off to a slow start with just four catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. That being said, he’s one of the NFL’s best pass-catching tight ends and will be missed.
Njoku is in the third year of a four-year rookie contract, with an option available for a fifth.
Browns Still Have Tight End Depth to Work, Including Stephen Carlson
Some options have emerged for the Browns with Njoku sidelined, including Stephen Carlson, who was signed as an undrafted free agent.
Lost in the ruckus of the Browns 21-7 win against the Steelers last week was Carlson’s first career catch — a highlight reel snatch over a defender.
Also filling in during Njoku’s absence was Demetrius Harris, Ricky Seals-Jones and Pharaoh Brown.
The Browns have had a long week to prepare for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. With a victory, the Browns can move closer to .500 as their uphill battle for a playoff berth continues.
Odds Shark has the Browns listed as a whopping 11-point home favorite for the game and the total is set at 44. Cleveland will then turn its attention to the Steelers in a highly-anticipated rematch. That game has been moved to a 1 p.m. kickoff.