Damarious Randall will not be heading to Pittsburgh this week.
The move was allegedly because of something that happened during the week, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. Randall had not appeared on the injury report this week.
What makes the move even concerning is that the Browns are shorthanded at the safety position. The team cut ties with Jermaine Whitehead earlier this season for a social media tirade that hinted at violence against his critics, while Eric Murray has been out since having knee surgery.
Rookie Sheldrick Redwine is next on the depth chart behind Randall, but the Browns could also elect to start T.J. Carrie or Terrance Mitchell.
Randall has dealt with injuries this season, starting just five games. Last time the Browns played the Steelers, Randall was ejected for a helmet to helmet hit in the third quarter.
Randall is in a contract year and can become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Randall said earlier this offseason he wanted to retire as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
“I would want to finish my career here in Cleveland. I love it here,” Randall told reporters. “The fans, the coaches, everybody in charge here. I just love Cleveland.”
Depending on how this situation shakes out, that sentiment could be changing in a big way for Randall.
Browns Rule Out Offensive Tackle Greg Robinson
Randall isn’t the only Browns player that will miss the game. The team also ruled out left tackle Greg Robinson on Saturday.
Robinson reported concussion-like symptoms this week and was still in the protocol on Friday, according to head coach Freddie Kitchens. However, the Browns skipper left the door open when speaking to the media.
“Not ready to rule him out yet,” Kitchens said Friday.
Justin McCray will likely slide into the starting lineup. He started a game earlier this season when the Browns were looking for a spark on the offensive line, benching Robinson. Kendall Lamm is also available.
Browns Tight End David Njoku to Remain Inactive for Steelers Matchup
The last important piece that will be out for the Browns is tight end David Njoku — a former first-round pick.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens said that Njoku, who returned to practice Nov. 20 after a stint on the IR for a broken wrist, is still working through some things as he prepares to return to the field. Njoku has been fairly adamant that he’s ready to get back on the field.
Njoku 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.
Njoku was off to a slow start with just four catches for 37 yards and one touchdown this season.
The team has until Dec. 11 to activate Njoku or shut him down for the remainder of the season.
The other Browns on the depth chart are Demetrius Harris, Ricky Seals-Jones, Stephen Carlson and Pharaoh Brown. Brown did not practice on Friday for personal reasons, but made the trip to Pittsburgh.
The Browns are a two-point road favorite for Sunday’s game, marking the first time since 1989 that Cleveland is favored in Pittsburgh.