In case any Browns fans weren't already terrified of a Week 6 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland's injury report should help you start to feel that fear.
The Browns have officially ruled out two key offensive players for the game.
Browns Injury News: Watson & Bitonio Out, Njoku Questionable
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has been officially ruled out, and P.J .Walker will start in his place. Starting left guard Joel Bitonio has been ruled out, and either Luke Wypler or Michael Dunn will likely start in his place. Tight end David Njoku is questionable.
The Watson news is no surprise at this point. His shoulder injury has been a bizarre saga (he was allegedly medically cleared to play back in Week 4, but now still can't go two weeks later), and Dorian Thompson-Robinson struggled in his lone start. So now practice squad call-up P.J. Walker gets the nod under center.
Bitonio being ruled out isn't all that surprising either. The five-time All-Pro hasn't been practicing all week and has clearly been trending toward not playing. That opens the door for either veteran backup Michael Dunn or rookie Luke Wypler to step into the starting lineup, though there's no word yet on who is favored to win the job.
Njoku has been expected to be sidelined thanks to some horrible burns he suffered a couple weeks ago, but he did play through them in Week 4, and being questionable instead of ruled out already is a promising sign. If Njoku can't go it will be Harrison Bryant and Jordan Akins divvying up his work, while Zaire Mitchell-Paden may well get elevated to pick up some snaps in the TE3 spot.
The 49ers would be a nightmare opponent at full health anyway, and having key pieces sidelined like this only makes the situation that much more difficult. It's a long season though, and it's probably the right decision to be cautious and keep players on the shelf to get back to full health for Week 7.
Of course, punting this game makes it a tough spot for Browns bettors. That is, it's tough unless you bet on FanDuel Sportsbook. FanDuel will award you a guaranteed $200 whether your $5 bet wins or loses, so you don't have to sweat what's going to happen to P.J. Walker on Sunday. Sign up through the exclusive Factory of Sadness link below to unlock your $200 before it expires!
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