The Cleveland Browns made it through the preseason without any major injuries stealing the spotlight, and that's always good news. The lack of high-profile season-enders doesn't mean injuries didn't still manage to become a storyline heading into the Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
That made the release of the official Browns injury report an important moment on Friday, and the report is here:
Browns Week 1 Injury Report vs. Bengals
Juan Thornhill is the lone Browns player carrying an official injury designation for the game. It's good news that there's only one player listed, but the listing is pretty concerning.
Thornhill is questionable with a calf injury, and getting downgraded from limited on Wednesday to a DNP on both Thursday and Friday is not an optimistic sign. All things around Thornhill's injury have been pretty quiet, so guessing whether he'll play is pure speculation at this point. If you're interested in my speculation, I think he sits — starting off limited then being downgraded is often a path to missing a game.
But if there's anywhere we can afford to miss a solid starter, it's at safety. Rodney McLeod was a super underrated offseason acquisition for the Browns, and I really don't think he's all that much of a downgrade from Thornhill. The defense should be firing on all cylinders even if Thornhill can't go.
Denzel Ward's concussion was a major injury storyline this week, and while his long-term health starts to become a concern as the concussions pile up for him, he's been fully cleared from the protocol this time.
Ward should play with no limitations, giving him a chance to prove himself and try to shut Ja'Marr Chase up.
Goodwin returning for the final week of the offseason after being sidelined with blood clots was amazing news, and it was more than just a feel-good story.
The Browns are deeper than ever at wide receiver, and Goodwin is a big part of that. The veteran isn't the most dangerous WR on the roster, but he's a legit deep threat and can stretch defenses vertically to open up room for guys like Elijah Moore underneath.
Goodwin was limited at practice all week, but with no injury designation we should see him rotate in as usual.
Joel Bitonio, Jack Conklin and Amari Cooper
There were never any legitimate concerns for Joel Bitonio, Jack Conklin or Amari Cooper. The veterans have been practicing in full and just each got a day off for rest this week before returning to full practices on Friday.
It's good to see Kevin Stefanski being smart with managing the load on his star veterans early in the season, and there's zero reason to question how ready they will be on Sunday.
Alex Wright avoided the I.R. despite undergoing knee surgery after the Browns' preseason finale, and he finally got back to a full practice on Friday.
Wright probably won't see much playing time behind Myles Garrett, Za'Darius Smith and Ogbo Okoronkwo on the edge, but he will likely be active as the fourth DE on Sunday.
Browns Injury Report Prop Bets
For bettors who are trying to cash in on the Browns game, the natural follow-up question is "what does all this mean for the betting markets?"
Ultimately none of these injuries are big enough to have an impact on the major markets like the spread, moneyline or even the total. But there are some interesting prop bets that could be impacted.
Ja'Marr Chase Receiving Yards
Ja'Marr Chase vs. Denzel Ward is a matchup that has been on fans' radars all offseason, and getting Ward back on the field adds a nice layer of excitement to the game. But what does it mean for Chase?
It seems to be pulling chase's receiving yard over/under down. That 76.5 line would be high for most wideouts, but Chase had at least 77 yards in eight of 12 regular season games last season, and including postseason contests he's hit that in 15 of his last 24 career games (62.5%).
Ward's presence is clearly pulling this projected total down.
Joe Burrow Passing Yards
In addition to Denzel Ward's injury affecting things, the Juan Thornhill situation clouds it even further.
If Thornhill sits this could actually be a tougher spot for Burrow. Whether Thornhill is the better overall player or not, Rodney McLeod has been lights out in coverage in recent years, grading out better than Thornhill on Pro Football Focus, especially in 2022.
Thornhill has the much better reputation though, so if he is ruled out we might see the Burrow passing yard total climb a bit, possibly creating some value on the under if you do believe in McLeod.
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