Nearly everything went right for the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. During their fairly easy 36-22 win over the Houston Texans, however, the Browns' special teams unit took a serious hit after kicker Dustin Hopkins injured his hamstring in the second quarter.
Hopkins was unable to return on Sunday, which ended up costing Cleveland some points and raising big concerns.
The first update on the stud kicker's health following the game unfortunately didn't bring any good news with it.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters following the contest that Hopkins needs an MRI. In response to his kicker's troubling injury, Stefanski said, "We will see. I don’t know."
This is far from an optimistic update on Hopkins. An MRI in itself doesn't mean something like a significant injury, but it at least shows this ailment is serious enough to require further testing.
Hopkins has arguably been the Browns' MVP of the entire 2023 season to this point. His leg alone has kept the team in matchups when the offense has sputtered, and he's won Cleveland several games this year as well.
Hopkins' ability to step up in the biggest of moments has been crucial to keeping this squad in the playoff race despite its boatload of injuries. It's cruel that now his season could be in jeopardy because of his own health issue, considering how important of a role he's played in the Browns overcoming their problems on that front in 2023.
Hopefully the veteran's hamstring injury doesn't turn out to be serious and he's able to return at 100% with the playoffs looming. If that doesn't turn out to be the case, though, Cleveland will have to consult the free-agent market to solve an absence at a key position once again.
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