The Cleveland Browns face a must-win situation in Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and tight end David Njoku to ready for “war.”
The Browns playoff path is simple — win against the Steelers and they’re in. Njoku is ready to make an impact and leave it all on the field as Cleveland looks to break a playoff drought that dates back to 2002.
“I’m ready for war,” he wrote. “All or nothin.”
Njoku is fresh off his most active game of the season, catching all four of his targets for 24 yards. However, he played on just 38 percent of the Browns’ snaps, his lowest total since Week 10.
David Njoku Still Finding Ways to Contribute With Browns
It’s been an interesting season for Njoku, a former first-round pick of the Browns. He demanded a trade before training camp, but ended up staying in Cleveland with the team refusing to deal him. His name popped up in multiple trade rumors before the deadline, but again, he stayed put in Cleveland.
Njoku is the third tight end listed on the Browns depth chart when everyone is healthy, but he’s still been able to contribute, with Kevin Stefanski using multiple tight end sets often. For the season, Njoku has collected 17 catches for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“We have been very consistent that we think David can be a big part of where we’re trying to go as a team this year and that we think he has an important role to play for this roster and for this team,” Berry told reporters before the season started. “We’re looking forward to working with David. I think he can have a fantastic year.”
Steelers Expected to Start Mason Rudolph Vs. Browns
While the Browns have their season on the line Sunday, the Steelers are just looking to stay healthy as they head into the postseason with the AFC North title already wrapped up. Because of that, Pittsburgh will rest veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Browns, which means Mason Rudolph will start under center.
“It does not change our intentions, in terms of going to Cleveland this weekend,” Tomlin told reporters Tuesday. “Football is our game. Our job is winning. We intend to do our job. We intend to prepare with that mindset. And ultimately lead us to that destination. We’re not seeking comfort. We’re not grading ourselves on a curve.
“This game is on the schedule, and so the guys that will be on the field will represent us in the standard that is the Pittsburgh Steelers will be the standard.”
With Rudolph under center it brings a spotlight to the incident that happened last year with Myles Garrett. The Browns star defensive end ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and hit him with it, resulting in a massive on field melee and a bevy of fines and suspensions.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it,” Tomlin said when asked of Rudolph’s return to Cleveland. “But I’m sure he’s excited about getting an opportunity to start, certainly.”
The Browns are 10-point favorites for the matchup, per Odds Shark, with the shift coming after the QB move was announced.