The Cleveland Browns, like any other NFL team, are dealing with some crucial injuries at the start of the season.
Perhaps the most notable is quarterback Baker Mayfield currently nursing an injury in his non-throwing shoulder.
He is wearing a harness and so far has not missed any time.
But protecting that blindside is key and the Browns got some bad news this weekend.
Jedrick Wills, the starting left tackle, is out for the game with an injury.
Jedrick Wills out for Sunday. https://t.co/rrEsTCFebg
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2021
Reserve lineman Chris Hubbard is also out leaving a huge lack of experience at the position ahead of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
A Tough Blow
Wills is last year’s first-round pick and has been dealing with injury issues all year.
Giving him some time off is for the best considering the team has their eyes on a Super Bowl this season.
Browns have now ruled Jedrick Wills Jr. out of Sunday’s game due to his ankle injury. Blake Hance is the likely starter at LT Sunday, but rookie James Hudson could also take that spot.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) October 9, 2021
Head coach Kevin Stefanski will have to change up the game plan a bit to make sure there are not too many slower developing plays that could put his quarterback at risk.
Mayfield will also have to keep in mind that he does not have an elite option protecting his left side.
A Huge Test Out West
This is an extremely important game for the Browns offense.
The Chargers are suddenly top AFC contenders and the Browns believe they are as well.
However, only scoring 14 points last week in Minnesota was a bit jarring.
Before that, the offense did not look elite against either Chicago or Houston.
It may all come down to how Mayfield’s shoulder is feeling.
He can say it is not an issue all he wants, but he has not looked himself since suffering the injury in Week 2 trying to make a tackle after an interception.
This game in Los Angeles is not the tell-all for the Browns offense, especially with Wills out at left tackle.
But if the Browns are going to win the Super Bowl they have to win under any and all circumstances.
That means winning with Wills and without him.