The Browns are looking short-handed but the delay was the right call.
The Browns are still going into their game against the Raiders without Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Wyatt Teller, Jadeveon Clowney and a host of others will are still testing positive for COVID-19. This is unfortunate, and many will assume the postponing of the Browns and Raiders clash was a waste.
While the postponing didn’t help the Browns much, John Johnson III has been cleared to return, it was still the right call. It may not have gone the Browns’ way like many had hoped, as many had imagined this being like something out of Mighty Ducks 3, where Mayfield and the rest of the ill show up in the third period Dean Portman-style and save the day.
This isn’t happening and now Nick Mullens will have to carry the load offensively with Nick Chubb behind a wrecked offensive line. So some will scream “What was the point!” at the whole ordeal. The point was to give the Browns a chance to get healthy.
That’s exactly what they were given, a chance, not a guarantee.
The delay was the right call regardless of the outcome
The delay was never a guarantee, it was a last-ditch effort. There was never a promise that if the game is delayed to Monday or even Tuesday, that anyone would return. It was being given a chance to find out which was most important. The Browns did everything right and wanted a break, a chance to find out if they could be a bit more whole.
It was also an opportunity to get more prep time for those new pieces. Most of the new players haven’t played with the roster yet let alone had ample time to practice. So shoehorning Mullens into a starting lineup on a day or two of notice was always going to go bad. Four or five days? Maybe things will be a bit better.
Regardless, the time has come and the Browns have to exceed expectations. They’re in a position no one saw coming; if the depleted Browns win against the failing Raiders, then Cleveland is in first place in the AFC North.
If the expected happens, and they lose, then they’re in last place in the division.
So, now it’s time to cut the conversation short and see what happens next.