It's a weird week every team in the NFL has to deal with at some point in the season.
The Browns and Bengals kicked off their respective shortest weeks of the year today as they look ahead to Thursday night's AFC North showdown in Cincinnati.
Here's what's making news.
1) The latest on injuries
The Browns didn't hold practice Monday, but there would have been a handful of players sidelined if they did.
Among the most notable additions to the injury report was wide receiver Brian Hartline, who is one of four players on the active roster dealing with a concussion. Defensive backs Joe Haden and Donte Whitner and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins are the others.
Quarterback Josh McCown (shoulder/ribs) also would not have practiced. Browns coach Mike Pettine said the team will monitor his progress throughout the short week and get a better gauge of his status as Thursday's game draws nearer.
"Josh is sore," Pettine said. "It is difficult this week, just given that it is a short week. He'll be day to day."
The Browns will be on the practice field Tuesday night before departing for Cincinnati on Wednesday afternoon.
2) Talking about Duke
Duke Johnson Jr. made the Browns' biggest play of the first half Sunday, as he took a short slant pass out of the slot and sprinted down the field for a 52-yard gain. In the second quarter, he added an 18-yard reception on Cleveland's third and final scoring drive.
From that point forward, the rookie running back touched the ball one more time.
As he reflected on the game Monday, Pettine said it's "on us as a staff" to get the football in Johnson's hands on a more regular basis.
"Duke is a guy who has showed he can do some damage with the football," Pettine said. "He is showing to be the guy we thought he was. I would agree with that. We need to get him the ball more."
On the season, Johnson has 179 rushing yards to go along with 33 receptions for 331 yards and a touchdown.
3) Barnidge just fine with single coverage
Gary Barnidge found the end zone yet again Sunday, giving him a team-high six touchdowns on the season. It's just three shy of Ozzie Newsome's single-season record of nine and is currently double the number of touchdowns he had for his career at the start of his eighth NFL season.
On his latest score, Barnidge lined up to the left and was single-covered by safety Tony Jefferson. He used his size and strength to position himself for a ball Jefferson had no shot of deflecting.
Even with the consistent success he's had in the red zone, Barnidge isn't surprised teams continue to mark him with single coverage.
"You have to prepare for everybody," Barnidge said on a Monday conference call. "You can't just prepare for one person. If they do that, it is going to leave other people open. If they want to cover more than one person, than somebody else is going to get open and that is fine with us."
4) Pettine explains Bademosi's extensive snaps
When Joe Haden went down with a concussion in Sunday's third quarter, special teams ace Johnson Bademosi largely filled the void and finished the game with 43 defensive snaps.
Pettine said he went with Bademosi over Pierre Desir, who started for Haden the previous two weeks, because Bademosi was already involved in a specific defensive package, which made for an easier transition.
Bademosi finished with four tackles and a fumble recovery.
"I think Johnson is one of those guys that you know what you're going to get out of him," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "You know he's going to compete. In this business, being a competitor that takes you a long way because he's a big guy, he's physical and he's fast."
5) Browns secondary bracing to play without A.J.-stopper
Considering the parameters of the NFL's concussion protocol, Pettine admitted it'd be unlikely to see Haden or Whitner on the field Thursday.
If that's the case, it'll delay the latest installment of Haden vs. Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green. Haden typically shadows Green in their matchups and had plenty of success in last season's game in Cincinnati, limiting Green to three catches for 23 yards in Cleveland's rout of the Bengals. Haden exited with an injury in Cleveland's 30-0 loss to the Bengals near the end of the season.
Gipson understands the frustration Haden's likely dealing with as he recovers from his second concussion of the season.
"That's going to be a huge blow going against a good receiver in A.J. Green. He's one of the best in the league," Gipson said. "As I said before, that's just another opportunity for another guy to step up and showcase his talent, his God-given talent and just go from there. I'm praying for Joe and a speedy recovery, and he'll get his chance when he gets back healthy."