CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns will have a few key players sidelined with injury for Thursday night's matchup with the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium—but they expect one player to make his return after being sidelined since last season.
Right tackle Jack Conklin is expected to play on Thursday, making his return from a knee injury he sustained last year that ended his season and required surgery to repair. Conklin has been battling back all offseason, rehabbing the knee and working to be ready to play this season. Conklin's status has been in question the past two weeks and before each kickoff has been downgraded to out as the Browns played it safe with his health.
More good news from the Browns came with the expected play of defensive end Myles Garrett and guard Joel Bitonio, who both appeared on the Brown injury report with a neck injury and biceps injury, respectively. Neither player practiced on Tuesday, and when asked about their availability, head coach Kevin Stefanski said "we'll see," drawing concerns that they might not be able to make it for the Thursday game on a short week.
Garrett's expected availability is great news for the Browns' defensive line, which will be out two ends on Thursday. Jadeveon Clowney had been ruled out with an ankle injury that left him in a medical boot after the Jets game. Meanwhile, Chase Winovich was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a hamstring injury, sidelining him for at least four games.
The Browns made some roster moves to address depth before the game as well, signing linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk and defensive end Isaac Rochell to the active roster from the practice squad.
On the Steelers' front, linebacker Devin Bush was the only player on the injury report, listed with a foot injury but was a full participant in Tuesday's practice. The team did take a hit with the loss of T.J. Watt, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral.
Cleveland kicks off the rivalry matchup against the Steelers at 8:15 p.m. Thursday. The game will air right here on News 5 with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m.
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