The Cleveland Browns will likely be down a crucial playmaker when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Week 2 Monday Night Football showdown. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that star wideout Amari Cooper is "unlikely to play" after suffering a groin injury in practice earlier this week, although there's still some hope after he traveled with the team to Pittsburgh.
Even if the Steelers aren't as good as they once were, it doesn't change the fact that Cooper's (probable) absence hurts. He finished Week 1 with 24.1% of Deshaun Watson's targets, meaning other players on offense must step up to fill his void on Monday.
Here are three Browns who must step up against Pittsburgh in Week 2 if Cooper can't play.
3 Browns Who Must Step Up Following Amari Cooper Injury News
1. Elijah Moore
Elijah Moore was one of the Browns' bigger offseason additions. After all, Cleveland sent a 2023 second-round pick to the New York Jets to acquire the talented wide receiver.
If Cooper is sidelined, expect Moore to be elevated to the team's WR1. The 23-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance ever since he was drafted 34th overall in 2021, tallying 83 catches, 1,027 yards and 6 TDs over 28 career outings.
Having said that, Moore didn't have that great of a Browns debut in Week 1. While he tied with Cooper for a team-high 7 targets, he only caught 3 balls thrown his way for 43 yards. He also had a drop as Deshaun Watson finished with a 23.8 passer rating when targeting him.
For reference, a quarterback would have a 39.6 passer rating if he threw the ball into the ground on every play. So yeah, Moore has to be better than he was against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Fortunately, the Sunrise, FL native thrives in primetime. In two career night games, Moore has racked up 99 yards and a pair of TDs on nine catches. If that trend continues this week, Cooper's absence won't hurt as much.