The Browns will be without Myles Garrett for at least a few weeks after the rookie defensive end and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick suffered a high ankle sprain in Wednesday's practice.
That, of course, doesn't change the fact Cleveland hosts Pittsburgh and its high-powered offense this weekend in both teams' season opener.
Here are a few candidates who could see expanded roles amid Garrett's absence:
Nate Orchard: After moving from linebacker to defensive end this offseason, Orchard shined in the Browns' preseason opener, recording two tackles, a half sack and one quarterback hurry after missing most of 2016 with an ankle injury. The former second-round draft pick, however, spoke of a silver lining in that setback. "It's the game of football, you're always one injury away from a season-ending or career ending injury," Orchard said last month. "So I definitely took a step back, looked at my life, analyzed everything where I wanted to be, who I wanted to be and how I wanted to bounce back from this injury." Orchard had 36 tackles and three sacks in 11 starts as a rookie two seasons ago.
Emmanuel Ogbah:Ogbah, of course, was already set to start at defensive end after a promising rookie season. But in Garrett's absence, the 2016 second-round pick could find himself with a slightly expanded role as Cleveland looks to improve its pass rush. Ogbah led the Browns with 5.5 sacks last year, which tied for fourth-most by a Browns rookie and tied for fifth among all NFL rookies in 2016.
Carl Nassib: Nassib looked poised to contribute as a rookie last season before breaking his hand in September. At 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, the former Penn State star and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has used that big, long frame to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage. In 14 games (and three starts), he totaled 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and 15 tackles.
Tyrone Holmes: The Browns re-signed Holmes on Thursday after waiving the second-year player this past weekend. Originally drafted by the Jaguars in the sixth round last year, Cleveland picked up the former Montana standout a week before the 2016 season. In 11 games, he finished with five tackles with one sack. At Montana, Holmes finished second in school history with 34.5 career sacks.