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Browns rule out 3 defensive players ahead of Monday night Steelers game

Kareem Hunt listed as questionable
John Johnson III
Posted at 3:33 PM, Jan 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-01 15:45:22-05

CLEVELAND — As the Cleveland Browns prepare for their Monday night must-win matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, they'll continue game-planning without three players on the defense and one key offensive weapon still questionable to play.

On Friday, the Browns ruled out cornerback Troy Hill and safeties Ronnie Harrison Jr. and John Johnson III for the prime time game at Heinz Field.

Harrison was limited at practice Friday and Saturday with an ankle injury and after Saturday's session was ruled out. Hill did not practice all week as he deals with a knee injury and Johnson also did not practice all week with a hamstring injury, working on the stationary bikes on Thursday.

Defensive tackle Malik Jackson was limited in practice Friday and Saturday after missing practice Thursday. He is listed as questionable to play Monday.

While the Browns enter the game down three defensive players and with a fourth defensive player in question, they will have rookie cornerback Greg Newsome II back in the mix.

Newsome has been sidelined for the past two weeks, first with a concussion and then out with COVID-19. He returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday and was back to being a full participant Friday and Saturday.

Defensive end Myles Garrett also was a full participant on Saturday after being limited with a groin injury sustained in the game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

On the offensive side of things, the Browns have listed running back Kareem Hunt as questionable to play Monday.

Hunt has been out since sustaining an ankle injury against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14, also spending time on the COVID-19 list while sidelined with the injury.

The running back returned to practice for the first time since the injury on Friday, and while limited in his work, looked excited to be back with his teammates and hopeful to play Monday.

For the Steelers, only one player—linebacker Buddy Johnson—was ruled out as of Friday. He is dealing with a foot injury. Two players—punter Pressley Harvin and center Kendrick Green—have been listed as questionable for the matchup with the Browns.

Pittsburgh did lose their share of defensive players ahead of the game, however, with linebacker and former Brown Joe Schobert placed on the COVID-19 list, as well as linebacker Devin Bush, defensive lineman Chris Wormley and cornerback Arthur Maulet. Offensive tackle Zach Banner and running back Anthony McFarland Jr. are both also on the COVID-19 list for the Steelers.

Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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