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News & Notes

News & Notes: TE David Njoku played with high level of effort on his runs after the catch

Browns offensive line, dealing with injuries, battled against a stout Ravens front

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The Browns notched an important victory over a division rival in the Ravens on Sunday. It was the first of two AFC North division games in back-to-back weeks, as the Browns face the Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Week 11.

They spent Monday reviewing the film from their comeback win over the Ravens, looking at ways to clean up and improve on all three sides of the ball.

So, as we head into Week 11, let's look at the news and notes from Monday.

Injury Updates

HC Kevin Stefanski did not have injury updates on Monday. However, Stefanski said that QB Deshaun Watson is undergoing an MRI for the ankle injury that he sustained on Sunday.

Stefanski also said that they would wait until Wednesday to see how T Dawand Jones is progressing. Jones missed Sunday's game with knee and shoulder injuries.

Praise for the Browns offensive line

The Browns offensive line was missing key players at tackle with Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jones out with injuries. In their absence, T James Hudson III and Geron Christian stepped in to fill both right and left tackle. For most of the game, they held their own against a stout Ravens defensive front.

Hudson has experience playing on both the right and left side, as well as stepping in during a game for an injured player. Stefanski said they knew the level of physicality that Hudson brings to the game. Stefanski also praised the way that Christian prepared himself for Sunday's game. He thought that the coaching staff helped him understand their system and his role in that system, which allowed him to battle on the offensive line on Sunday.

Yet, there are areas to improve, as Watson was sacked four times on Sunday.

"One was on a quick, one was on an RPO, one was on a bad call by May on third and two," Stefanski said. "I just thought those guys battled like crazy. That's a very good front. Leading the league in sacks. They run a ton of games, they run them well. So, I thought those guys were in tune in the pass game and the run game. Again, a very stout front. Wasn't easy, wasn't always pretty, but made some big plays in there."

TE David Njoku's effort plays after the catch

Njoku finished the game with six catches for 58 yards, with his longest catch of the day for 23 yards. Njoku excelled on Sunday in his yards after the catch when he extended multiple plays. Njoku had 54 yards after a catch against the Ravens, averaging nine yards after a catch per reception. 

With 10:19 left in the fourth quarter, Njoku caught a short pass from Watson. He turned and ran, initially making it past the first down marker and breaking through two Ravens defenders. Then, as S Geno Stone tried to stop Njoku and tackle him, Njoku continued to run, pushing Stone back until he eventually was brought down. Njoku ran for 23 yards on the completion.

"Dave's a great leader for this football team," Stefanski said. "He leads by action. He leads by words. He's so positive on game day, in the huddle, on the sideline. He was very upset with himself early with a drop, but he made up for it. It's no secret. He's a very, very good football player for us. We're looking to find ways to get him the football."

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