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Browns Lose Two More Tackles to Season-Ending Injuries

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Browns All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin

The Cleveland Browns have lost two more tackles to season-ending injuries, and now will play the rest of the 2023 season without their top three offensive tackles.

Cleveland has been playing without All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin since he suffered a knee injury and tore his ACL and MCL in the season opener. Now starting left tackle Jedrick Wills and top backup, rookie Dawand Jones, have both also been sidelined.

Wills injured his knee in Cleveland’s 27-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 5. Until this point, the MCL injury had not been considered season-ending, but the Browns announced on Tuesday that Wills underwent surgery and will be out for the rest of 2023.

Wills is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2024 season.

Steelers Browns OT Dawand Jones

Cleveland Browns tackle Dawand Jones (79) on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

Jones, a fourth-round rookie out of Ohio State who had been filling in for Conklin at right tackle, injured his knee in practice last week. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announced on Monday that Jones suffered a torn MCL that will require surgery.

“Disappointed for Dawand, obviously, and he’ll rehab and we’ll get him back,” Stefanski said. “Tough for him, but next man up.”

Veteran Geron Christian has been suiting up at left tackle in place of Wills. He has started five games for the Browns so far since coming over mid-season from the Houston Texans. The 27-year-old former third-round pick of the Washington Redskins hasn’t been a regular starter since 2021 in D.C.

James Hudson will replace Jones at right tackle. The 2021 fourth-round pick out of Cincinnati has started 10 games in his career, including three this season.

Leroy Watson is currently the only other healthy tackle on the Cleveland offensive line. Justin Murray and former first-round draft pick Alex Leatherwood are on the practice squad.

The Browns also may be without starting center Ethan Pocic, who suffered a stinger on Sunday.

The Steelers are one game behind the Browns in the AFC playoff picture, with Cleveland holding the No. 5 seed and top Wild Card, and the Steelers right behind with the sixth seed.

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