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Snap Count Review: Secondary digs deep after loss of numerous key players

Cleveland was without three of its top defensive backs Sunday

We're breaking down who played how much in Sunday's playoff-clinching win over the Steelers.

— Cleveland entered Sunday's game without six key players who were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list over the past week. Five of those players were on defense: LB B.J. Goodson, LB Malcolm Smith, CB Denzel Ward, CB Kevin Johnson and S Andrew Sendejo. When healthy, Ward, Sendejo and Goodson have played nearly every snap while Smith and Johnson have been on the field for large chunks of games.

— Here's how the Browns dealt with it.

— Robert Jackson, who played just a handful of defensive snaps before Sunday's game, was on the field for all 67 snaps. So, too, were S Ronnie Harrison Jr., CB Terrance Mitchell and LB Jacob Phillips, who handled the MIKE responsibilities.

— Sheldrick Redwine (6) got the start in Sendejo's place, but Karl Joseph (61) took the vast majority of snaps.

— The Browns played just three linebackers: Phillips, Sione Takitaki (38) and Mack Wilson (32).

— M.J. Stewart filled in for Johnson in the slot and played all but four snaps. His second interception of the season was one of the biggest plays of the game.

— Myles Garrett played 52 of a possible 67 snaps. Adrian Clayborn (36) played more than half of the defensive snaps.

— With Harrison Bryant sidelined, David Njoku (49) played one of his highest snap totals of the season. So, too, did Stephen Carlson (16).

— Donovan Peoples-Jones played 13 snaps before suffering a concussion. KhaDarel Hodge (26) picked up the slack as the Browns' third wide receiver.

— Joel Bitonio and JC Tretter were Cleveland's Iron Men this season. They were the only two players who didn't miss a snap. Mitchell played the highest percentage of any defensive player.

Check out the full breakdown by clicking the link below.

Check out photos of the Steelers against the Browns

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