It was supposed to be an easy win for the 10-4 Cleveland Browns over the 1-13 New York Jets. Now, many said they shouldn’t take this team lightly and that was true. Any NFL team, even the Jets, has a chance to win no matter what they’re up against.
This was until the Browns got word that LB B.J. Goodson had to be put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Losing any player is disappointing, but simply one linebacker was not the end of the world. This was until after the COVID tracing and the following was announced:
“Situation: WR Rashard Higgins, WR KhaDarel Hodge, WR Jarvis Landry, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones & LB Jacob Phillips on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. In addition, Browns elevate (Contagious Disease Addendum) WR Ja’Marcus Bradley, LB Montrel Meander & WR Derrick Willies from the PS”
Thus, the Browns will not have any starting wide receivers for the game against the Jets.
What needs to be done?
Well, of course, the running game has to be stellar like it has been the entire year. Additionally, QB Baker Mayfield will have to focus on connecting with his tight ends Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant and David Njoku.
This is not fair, but it’s better to occur against a terrible team such as the Jets compared to say the Pittsburgh game the following week. Again, not saying it’s a guaranteed win, but there’s still a chance the backups can help lead the team to victory in New York.
Frankly, the defense is still intact. There is no excuse to allow this horrific Jets offense to score a plethora of points against the Browns. If the defense can take care of business, it is a winnable game. Letting the Jets have any type of offensive momentum could spell trouble.
Finally, this is yet another test and “prove it” game for quarterback Baker Mayfield. The same with head coach Kevin Stefanski. Can Baker still perform at his best without a core of wide receivers for him to throw the ball to against the Jets? Can coach Stefanski lead this team to victory as its sideline leader? Well, that remains to be seen. Baker is going to have to be the best he’s been to give these new guys a chance to thrive. Stefanski is going to have to call a perfect game.
Win this game and let’s clinch a playoff birth, circumstances aside!!!