Injury Report

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Injury Report: Browns rule out 2 players, list Denzel Ward as questionable vs. Steelers

James Hudson III will start at right tackle

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The Browns on Friday ruled out OT Jack Conklin (ankle) and DE Isaiah Thomas (foot) for Sunday's Week 18 game against the Steelers.

CB Denzel Ward (shoulder) was also ruled questionable.

With Conklin out, the Browns will start second-year OT James Hudson at right tackle in his third start of the season and seventh of his career. He'll face Steelers All-Pro DE T.J. Watt, who gave Hudson fits when he lined up against him in Week 16 last season while Conklin was also injured.

Watt tallied four sacks in the game, which Hudson reviewed this week.

"Just seeing exactly what I did wrong in that game," he said. "Just seeing, on the plays he beat me on, exactly what he did to beat me around the edge or beat me to the inside. Just picking up on those little things as to why I didn't succeed that day.

"The biggest thing with him is his get-off. He's a smart player. He watches the cadence. He uses that to his advantage. He has great length, great speed and great hands. He's the whole package."

Head coach Kevin Stefanski has been pleased with the progress Hudson, a fourth-round pick from Cincinnati last year, has achieved in his second season and believes he'll fare better against Watt this time around.

"Last year is last year," Stefanski said. "He has done a very nice job this season. That is a tough task. We understand how good their defensive front is — obviously, No. 90 (Watt) — but they have a bunch of really, really good players. That is a very good defense."

If Ward is unable to play, Greg Newsome II and third-round rookie M.J. Emerson Jr. would likely handle his starting duties. Third-year veteran CB A.J. Green would also see more playing time and helped fill the gap at the position when Ward exited the game in the second half last week against the Commanders.

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

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