CLEVELAND — The Steelers have ruled out five players on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) and defensive tackle Montravius Adams (ankle) will not play after failing to practice all week. Keanu Neal (rib) was placed on injured reserve and is out for the next four games. In their places, Keeanu Benton and Trenton Thompson will start on the Steelers’ defense facing a new-look Browns offense without Deshaun Watson.
In addition to those players being out, the Steelers have made cornerback Darius Rush, offensive tackle Dylan Cook, and running back Godwin Igwebuike inactive. Rush will be inactive for the second straight game after playing thirty snaps against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. The team expects Elijah Riley to handle many of the dime package responsibilities, meaning Rush does not have a place to play over someone like Rodney Williams, who plays plenty of special teams.
Igwebuike handled kick return duties for several weeks, but with Anthony McFarland back, he has been relegated to fourth-string running back. Cook is always one of the team’s inactives, while Spencer Anderson dresses as the eighth offensive lineman who can play anywhere over the formation. Mason Rudolph is inactive but will serve as the team’s emergency third quarterback in case Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky get injured.
As for the Browns, they will be without wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (concussion) and safety Juan Thornhill (calf). But starting right tackle Dawand Jones (knee) will play after missing last week’s game against the Ravens with the injury. He will look to slow down T.J. Watt, but that will be no easy feat for Jones. Veteran Geron Christian will start opposite of him at left tackle. Cleveland activated Michael Dunn (calf) off injured reserve to give them more offensive line depth if injuries occurred.