Good news, Emily Mayfield! Your husband’s getting a couple of tough guys back in the lineup ahead of the Browns’ game against division-leading Baltimore.
On Thursday morning, Cleveland announced that running back Kareem Hunt and right tackle Jack Conklin have been designated to return from injured reserve. Both are now eligible to be on the field for Sunday night’s primetime tilt with Baltimore.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – OCTOBER 17: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Cleveland Browns kneels after an injury on the field during the fourth quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) ((Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images))
As Emily can attest, the Browns could use some help. Cleveland’s offense has scored more than 17 points only once in their last six games. Hunt’s been out with a calf injury since mid-October, and Conklin’s been sidelined since the first week of November due to an elbow injury.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates after the Browns defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
When healthy, the offensive duo have had a major impact. Hunt has 89 total touches on the season, amassing 522 total yards and five touchdowns, and Conklin’s a two-time All-Pro selection, whom Pro Football Focus currently ranks as the NFL’s 14th-best offensive tackle out of 80 qualifying players. He has started six games this season.
Though Hunt and Conklin have been removed from IR, their status for Sunday night is still yet to be determined. Removing players opens a 21-day window for them to return to practice before being added to the team’s active roster. Early reports out of Cleveland indicate that Hunt is a near lock to be activated prior to Sunday. A decision on Conklin has still not been made, but things are trending in the right direction.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his rushing touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian) ((AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian))
Even with the added toughness of Hunt and Conklin, FanDuel Sportsbook agrees with Emily, feeling as though Browns-not named Baker just aren’t tough enough. They list Cleveland as 3.5 point underdogs against Baltimore.