It's been a rough year across the NFL in terms of injuries to key players. The Cleveland Browns certainly know the sting of the injury bug, which has tried to upend their season at numerous points in 2023.
This unfortunate string of poor health around the league continued in Week 13, but now the Browns stand to benefit.
Cleveland's upcoming opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, saw two of their most important players go down on Monday Night Football. Following the aftermath of that game, it's been revealed quarterback Trevor Lawrence is nursing a high-ankle sprain, while leading wide receiver Christian Kirk has a core muscle injury.
The latter is the more serious of the two, as Kirk is expected to require surgery, which would likely knock him out for about eight weeks. Meanwhile, the former hasn't been ruled out of Sunday's matchup against the Browns despite how scary the injury initially looked.
That being said, Lawrence will have a tough time being ready to face Cleveland. The fact he suffered this ailment on late Monday leaves him with only five full days of treatment before Sunday. This is also the type of injury where recovery varies depending on the damage and person, so there's no guarantee the Jags' optimism actually pans out.
That leaves Jacksonville without one leading weapon, and possibly Lawrence as well. At the very least their offense has been downgraded, and at worst they could be doomed on a short turnaround.
This presents Kevin Stefanski's team with a massive opportunity to bounce back following two straight losses. The firm grasp they once had on a playoff spot has slipped as a result of their skid, but there's no better way to pad their record than with a victory over a fellow playoff hopeful.
The injuries have also caused some significant movement in the betting odds for the game. The Browns are sizable 3-point favorites, and the over/under of 31 points is one of the lowest totals you'll see all season.
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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.