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Two Browns Ruled Out vs. Steelers, Key OT Questionable



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)

The Cleveland Browns have ruled out two players for their Week 11 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and right tackle Dawand Jones is questionable to play with an injury.

Jones, Cleveland’s fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, made his first NFL start against the Steelers in Week 2 as he replaced injured starter Jack Conklin, who is out for the year with a knee injury.

He then made seven consecutive starts until a knee injury forced him to miss last week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. Jones did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday.

Veteran backup Geron Christian is expected to start at left tackle, replacing starting Jedrick Wills, who is also on IR with a knee injury. If Jones can’t play at right tackle, James Hudson will make his second start of the season and ninth of his career.

Both Hudson and Jones are familiar with the Steelers. Jones made his first career start while facing Steelers left outside linebacker T.J. Watt in Week 2. Watt had one sack, two tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

That’s better than Hudson fared against Watt in his first start against him. Hudson faced the Steelers in Week 16 of his rookie season in 2021, and Watt set a career high with four sacks and also added three tackles for loss, five quarterback hits and defended two passes.

Last year, Hudson got a second shot against Watt and fared better, holding T.J. to a half sack and one quarterback hit in Week 18 last season.

Also questionable for Cleveland is backup guard Michael Dunn, who is eligible to return from the injured reserve this week, but has not yet been activated. He has been out with a calf injury and was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Browns have ruled out wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (concussion) and free safety Juan Thornhill (calf). David Bell and Cedric Tillman will be the top receiver options behind starters Amari Ooper and Elijah Moore. Veteran backup Rodney McLeod should be expected to step in for Thornhill.

The Steelers are expected to announce their injury report later on Friday.