The Cleveland Browns' 53-man roster is locked as they begin the 2023 NFL season against the rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Everyone must do their part this weekend if the Browns are going to start the season with a victory.
While all 53 players deserve to be applauded for cracking the roster, the season is far from over. All it takes is a few mistakes on any given Sunday for a player to wind up riding the bench.
With how disastrous the 2022 campaign was, Cleveland can't afford to play anyone who isn't holding their weight. Don't be surprised if Kevin Stefanski has a short leash going in Week 1.
With that in mind, here's a look at three Browns who could get benched against the Bengals.
Browns Who Could Be Benched vs. Bengals
1. Elijah Moore
The Browns wanted to give Deshaun Watson as many weapons as possible to succeed, including acquiring wideout Elijah Moore from the New York Jets in exchange for a 2023 second-rounder.
A former 2021 second-round selection, Moore joins Cleveland following a down sophomore year. Despite playing 69% of offensive snaps, the former Ole Miss product only finished with 37 catches for 446 yards and a touchdown in 16 games. He went from averaging 48.9 receiving yards per game as a rookie to 27.9 in his second year in addition to quarterbacks having a 76.8 passer rating when targeting him.
To make things clear, Kenny Pickett (76.7) and Zach Wilson (72.8) were the only QBs with passer rates worse than that in 2022, per Football-Reference.
Moore finds himself now competing with Donovan Peoples-Jones for the WR2 spot in Cleveland. There are no excuses for the former anymore because going from Wilson to Watson is a notable upgrade. The Bengals have one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the league, so the Browns need Moore to live up to the hype to keep pace.
If Moore shows that he wasn't worth the price, expect names like Cedric Tillman and David Bell to get an elevated look.