New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Preview: Key players, injuries, and more
By Justin Fried
The New York Jets are set to take on the Cleveland Browns in a critical early-season Monday night matchup. Here is a brief preview of the game including key players and injuries.
The New York Jets will look to rebound from a disastrous eight-day period in which the team lost their season opener against the Buffalo Bills in embarrassing fashion and followed that up with an even more troublesome subsequent week.
We don’t have to rehash everything that went wrong as it’s already been well documented. But it’s safe to say that a victory this Monday night would help soften the blow of this terrible week.
However, that task should prove challenging.
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Despite the fact that they will be facing a Cleveland Browns team fresh off a blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, their opponents are still a more talented team by a longshot.
And with backup quarterback Trevor Siemian assuming the reigns of the offense, the Jets will have their work cut out for them as they look to avoid falling to 0-2 on the season.
Let’s take a look at a preview of the Monday night showdown complete with players t watch and an updated injury report.
Next: Players to Watch
Players to Watch
Trevor Siemian, QB
This seems like an obvious entry, but it still remains true. Much of the Jets success or failure on offense this week will fall on the shoulders of new starting quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Truth be told, the Jets don’t need Siemian to light it up on Monday, they just need him to be competent. Expecting anything more would be setting themselves up for a surefire dose of disappointment.
The Offensive Line
However, the true success of the Jets offense will ultimately rely on how well their offensive line plays. Yes, this is partially cheating since it’s an entire unit instead of one player but the point still stands nonetheless.
Facing a dominant front-four, the Jets offensive line will need to play much better than they did against the Bills in Week 1. And with another week to develop chemistry with one another, the hope is that we could see just that against Cleveland.
Odell Beckham, WR
Simply put, the Jets cornerbacks could be in a world of trouble this Monday night. Facing a star-studded duo of receivers in Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, the Browns seem to have the edge in this matchup against the likes of Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts.
We’re specifically highlighting Beckham here as he’ll be matched up against Johnson and could be in-line to do the most damage. Unless Johnson could pull an impressive shutdown performance out of nowhere, Beckham could be set for a very productive game.
Myles Garrett, DE
Another positional matchup that the Browns seem to have the advantage in is upfront on the line of scrimmage. And much of the reason for that revolves around stout pass rusher Myles Garrett.
Garrett added two sacks in the team’s season opener and he’ll be lined up against Kelvin Beachum who comes into this game dealing with an ankle injury that limited him in practice. If the Jets could find a way to prevent him from getting to Siemian that would be a major win for the team.
Next: Injury Report
Jets – Out
Sam Darnold, C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams
We all knew that Sam Darnold would be out for this game and he’ll likely miss at least a few more weeks. But C.J. Mosley and Quinnen Williams‘ injuries were sustained in the team’s season opener and their status was undetermined until recently.
Losing Mosley is obviously a major blow and it will be up to Neville Hewitt and Blake Cashman to hold down the fort. Meanwhile, the rest of the Jets defensive line rotation will need to step up in Williams’ absence.
Jets – Questionable
Kelvin Beachum, Le’Veon Bell, Braxton Berrios, Alex Lewis, Steve McLendon, Demaryius Thomas, Brian Winters
There are plenty of notable names on this list, but fortunately, it appears that most of the above players will be available this Monday. Le’Veon Bell had an injury scare earlier in the week but he appears good to go and the same goes for most of the others here.
Perhaps the only player to keep an eye on would be newly-acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Thomas did not practice all week as he’s been out nursing a hamstring injury but the Jets are still optimistic that he could play.
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Browns – Out
Dontrell Hilliard, Kendall Lamm, Damarious Randall, Adarius Taylor
The only notable name on this list is defensive back Damarious Randall who suffered a concussion in Week 1 that will keep him out of this game. Randall made some noise this week voicing his displeasure for former coach Gregg Williams.
In his place expect former Kansas City Chiefs defender Eric Murray to start at free safety. Expect the Jets to attack his part of the field as they look to capitalize on the ballhawk’s absence.
Browns – Questionable
Joel Bitonio, Rashard Higgins, Chris Smith, Drew Stanton
Joel Bitonio is by far the most notable player listed here as he was limited all week with an abdominal injury. However, all signs point to him suiting up in this one.
Other than that, Rashard Higgins is the team’s best receiver but is expected to play while Browns fans will be hoping that backup quarterback Drew Stanton doesn’t end up seeing the field.
Reserve defensive end Chris Smith is also expected to play but will be doing so with a heavy heart after the tragic loss of his girlfriend this past week. Stuff like that supersedes football and you just hope for the best for all parties involved.