Browns Star Pass-Catcher Out With Puzzling Injury Against Ravens

Getty Images Austin Hooper, right, celebrates with Browns teammate David Njoku.

Austin Hooper will not play against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football with a neck injury and there aren’t a lot of answers on how the Cleveland Browns‘ star tight end was banged up.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski addressed the injury and didn’t have a lot of answers.

“I do not know when it happened. It kind of popped up, if you will,” Stefanski told reporters before addressing Hooper’s status for the game. “I can’t put odds on it. We will see. The next 24-48 hours, we will monitor it and then make a decision before game time.”

It was reporteted by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport soon after that Hooper would be inactive for the Browns’ key Monday Night Football tilt against the Ravens.

Stefanski did say the injury wasn’t serious, which is why the team was holding out hope that he could play with a questionable designation.

What hurt for the Browns was that it was another injury to pop up late in the week, a tough situation when it comes to game planning and preparing other players for larger roles.

“Not ideal, but we have been here before,” Stefanski said. “We will just make sure if we do not have Hoop, we have guys that are ready to go.”

The Browns run sets with multiple tight ends a ton, so Hooper will be missed both as a pass-catcher and blocker. Hooper has 30 catches this season for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

It’s not the first time Hooper will miss a game this season. He dealt with an appendicitis earlier this season that forced him to miss a pair of contests. While he’s out, rookie Harrison Bryant and former first-round pick David Njoku will get more action.

Browns Get Guard Wyatt Teller Back

Kevin Stefanski: "If we don't have Hooper, we'll have guys who are ready to go."Kevin Stefanski addressed the media via Zoom on December 12, 2020. Kevin gave updates on Austin Hooper, Denzel Ward, KhaDarel Hodge, and Wyatt Teller and discussed how the team can handle the pressure from the Ravens this Monday. #BrownsMedia #PressConference2020-12-12T19:51:01Z

The Browns did get some good news when it was announced that guard Wyatt Teller would be available for the Monday night matchup after being activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Teller has had a tremendous season, emerging as a major force for the Browns on the offensive line. He had missed time earlier this season with a calf strain, but returned in Week 10.

To make room for Teller, the Browns waived running back Dontrell Hilliard. The third year back had a very limited role in the offense and hasn’t been a factor on special teams, returning just five kicks. He had just 50 yards from scrimmage this season, the majority of that coming at the tail-end of blowouts.

Browns Add Marvin Hall Via Waivers, Elevate Ja’Marcus Bradley

GettyThe Browns have claimed WR Marvin Hall.

Earlier this week, the Browns claimed wide receiver Marvin Hall on Monday on waivers. Hall is 5-foot-10, 192 pounds and in his fourth NFL season out of Washington. Hall entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Raiders in 2016 and has since spent time with the Cardinals, Falcons and most recently, the Lions.

Cleveland also made the decision to elevate Ja’Marcus Bradley from the practice squad on Monday to function as the Browns No. 4 wide receiver.

Bradley is an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has been a member of the team’s practice squad since Week 1 and made his NFL debut last week.

At Louisiana-Lafayette, Bradley saw action in 52 career games, catching 160 passes for 2,359 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also has the ability to return kicks.

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