This week has been a roller coaster ride for the Cleveland Browns when it comes to injuries.
Cleveland confirmed on Friday, September 23, that cornerback Greg Newsome II will miss the team’s Week-3 home showdown with the AFC rival Tennessee Titans. However, Pro Bowl defensive end Za’Darius Smith was a full practice participant on Friday and appears ready to roll for Sunday’s game.
Smith is dealing with both an ankle issue and a thigh issue, per the injury report on the Browns’ official team website. He sat out practice Wednesday and was limited on Thursday before returning in full on Friday. Smith has tallied 5 pressures, 4 QB hits and 1 pass breakup through two games since joining the team this offseason via a trade with the Minnesota Vikings.
Offensive tackle James Hudson III is listed as questionable heading into the matchup with Tennessee.
Browns Don’t Expect Long Injury for Greg Newsome II, Will Replace Him With Martin Emerson Jr.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Saturday that he doesn’t expect Newsome will miss a long period of time due to his elbow injury.
“I don’t,” Stefanski told reporters. “Rule him out for this one then we’ll see for next week.”
Taking Newsome’s place on the outside will be second-year cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. A third-round pick in 2022, Emerson was excellent during his rookie campaign. He tallied 63 tackles, 15 pass breakups and 1 sack on the season. Emerson has also started off this campaign well, allowing just 1 completion on 9 passes thrown his way. He has held opposing quarterbacks to a collective rating of 39.6.
“Obviously guys have to step up, and Greg plays a big role for us inside and outside, so we’ve worked through that all week,” Stefanski added. “I feel comfortable with the plan.”
Browns Catch Break After RB Nick Chubb Suffers Season-Ending Knee Injury
While the Browns have a viable replacement for Newsome for however long he’s out, the same can’t necessarily be said of running back Nick Chubb.
Chubb was knocked out for the season after a hit from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick during the first half of last Monday night’s primetime AFC North Division matchup. Considering the brutality of the hit, there was speculation that Chubb might require multiple surgeries and may never be the same — assuming the hit wasn’t, in fact, a career-ender.
On Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Chubb miraculously avoided not only broken bones, but also an ACL tear.
“The knee injury … is not [considered] career-ending, with initial tests revealing the running back tore only his left MCL,” Schefter wrote. “Sources said that while Chubb’s ACL was stretched on the play, doctors do not believe that ligament is torn. Surgery is likely to happen this week, and sources said the hope is that more damage is not found. Chubb’s recovery timeline is expected to be six to eight months.”