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News & Notes: Jack Conklin day to day with hamstring injury

Cleveland’s All-Pro RT missed most of Sunday’s game

All-Pro RT Jack Conklin is considered day to day with a hamstring injury, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday.

Conklin suffered the injury early in Sunday's second quarter and did not return. Veteran Kendall Lamm filled his spot for the final 50 snaps.

"We will know more as the week goes with him," Stefanski said.

Conklin missed just one game during the regular season, and that was all the way back in Week 2. Chris Hubbard started in his place but has since been lost for the year after suffering a knee injury.

Lamm, who has been summoned to play at both tackle positions this season, filled in nicely and helped keep QB Baker Mayfield clean from start to finish. The Steelers entered Sunday night's game with at least one sack in their last 73 games, but they came away with nothing against a Browns offensive line that was also missing three-time Pro Bowler Joel Bitonio, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

"I think this year the way it has gone, I think everybody has to kind of live by that mindset of just being ready to play, being ready to perform with different circumstances and under unique preparation circumstances as well," C JC Tretter said. "I think we have been ready for that but a ton of credit to those guys to step in in a playoff game and play at that high of a level."

More Updates

G Michael Dunn, who started in place of Bitonio, is day to day with a calf injury. Dunn suffered the injury in Sunday's fourth quarter after playing 53 snaps.

Blake Hance, who was signed off the Jets' practice squad last week, played the final 14 snaps at left guard.

"The resilience and the next man up mentality that we have been talking about the whole season and for some of these guys who were not even here while we were talking about it, that just permeates through the whole team," Mayfield said.

CB Robert Jackson (hamstring) is also considered day to day.

Stefanski did not have any updates on the four players currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Denzel Ward, CB Kevin Johnson, WR KhaDarel Hodge and Bitonio.

"I will just update those guys as it becomes appropriate, but I do not have anything specific on them right now," Stefanski said. 

Thrilled for AVP

Stefanski knew Sunday's game meant a little something extra to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who broke a number of Dan Marino's records as a standout quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh.

With Van Pelt filling in for Stefanski as the offense's play-caller, the Browns didn't miss a beat, as Mayfield threw for three touchdowns and the Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt ground attack picked up yards, first downs and touchdowns in chunks. It marked the fourth time this season Cleveland cleared 40 points, and it came at the most opportune of times.

Stefanski said he and Van Pelt are in "lockstep" with the direction of the offense, and it showed Sunday.

"Alex was absolutely outstanding last night," Stefanski said. "I am so thrilled for him in Pittsburgh, which that means a little bit extra to him being the Pitt Panther legend that he is. He just was dialing them up. Great call after great call, and the guys were executing. Not surprised, but really proud of him." 

Nice to Meet You

Mayfield made instant headlines after the game when he revealed he met Hance just before Sunday's game.

Stefanski admitted Monday he's yet to be formally introduced. That'll come soon enough, as Hance proved to be yet another player who rose to the occasion when his number was called.

"They have been put in these positions early and often this season," Stefanski said. "It is something we have talked about, but you do not often speak things into existence. I just give credit to the players in how they have responded. They have been about the doing."

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