Upcoming Match-ups

Browns vs Chiefs Injury Report and COVID Updates for AFC Divisional Round Matchup

Kevin Allen

by Kevin Allen in NFL Football

Jan 16, 2021 · 1:05 PM PST

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire running with the football during a game.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) during an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
  • The Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) are 10-point favorites against the Cleveland Browns (11-5) in their Divisional Playoff game Sunday at 3:05 pm ET
  • The Browns are finally free of their Covid-19 issues and the Chiefs have 11 players on their injury list
  • See below for a full roundup of injuries, plus analysis of their impact

The Kansas City Chiefs are 10-point home favorites against the Cleveland going into their Sunday Division Playoff contest. But the length of their injury list, which includes leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire, could mean this contest will be closer than it appears.

Helaire practiced once this week and  is listed as “questionable” heading into Sunday’s meeting at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. He’s one of 11 injured Chiefs.

If Helaire is out, getting 10 points with a hot Browns team, looks more attractive.

Browns Injury Report

Player Position Injury or illness Friday Practice Status
Jake Conklin T Hamstring/Knee Limited Practice Questionable
Miles Garrett DE Shoulder Full Practice
BJ Goodson LB Shoulder Limited Practice Questionable
D’Ernest Johnson RB Finger Full Practice
Jarvis Landry WR Hip Full Practice
David Njoku TE Hamstring Limited Practice Questionable
Sheldon Richardson DT Neck Full Practice
Malcolm Smith LB Ankle Full Practice
Wyatt Teller G Ankle Full Practice
JC Trettor C Knee Full Practice Questionable
Stephen Carlson TE Groin DNP Questionable
Joe Bitonio G Covid 19 Cleared Friday
Drew Petzing TE Coach Covid 19 Cleared Friday
Jeff Howard DB Coach Covid 19 Cleared Friday
Scott Peters OL Coach Covid 19 Cleared Friday

All information taken from the Official Injury Reports

Browns receive “All Clear” for Covid-19

The illness list was more important than the injury list in Cleveland until the last coaches and guard Joel Bitonio came off the Covid-19 list on Friday. The Browns have no players or coaches currently dealing with Covid-19.

The Browns do have some injury concerns: tight end David Njoku (19 catches, 213 yards, 2 TDs) is questionable. He had limited practice Friday. Other players of concern are offensive tackle Jake Conklin (hamstring and knee) and linebacker BJ Goodson (shoulder) . Their availability will have an impact.

However,  coach Kevin Stefanski indicated this week that he feels confident about the team’s readiness because the Covid-19 issue has been cleaned up. More than dozen players and half a dozen coaches tested positive in recent weeks, including Stefanski who was cleared earlier this week.

The return of Bitonio is crucial. He is rated the NFL’s No. 6 guard, according to profootballfocus.com

Chiefs Injury Report

Player Position Injury or illness Friday Practice Status
Rashad Fenton CB Foot/Ankle Limited Practice Questionable
Willie Gay LB Ankle DNP Out
Sammy Watkins WR Calf DNP Out
Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB Ankle/Hip DNP Questionable
Deon Yelder TE Groin DNP Questionable
Le’Veon Bell RB Knee Full Practice Questionable
Len Niemann LB Hamstring Full Practice
Derrick Nnadi DT Knee Full Practice
Mike Remmers OL Back Full Practice
Demarcus Robinson WR Back Full Practice
Armani Watts CB Concussion Full Practice

Edwards-Helaire’s Status

Here’s what we know about Edwards-Helaire:  He practiced Wednesday, and looked pretty good. But the Chiefs decided to shut him down. They say they wanted to give him more time to rest and heal.

Maybe we should read that as optimism. But officially, he’s still day-to-day and we won’t know his availability for sure until the team announces inactive players on Sunday morning.

Even though the Chiefs have plenty of weapons, Edward-Helaire’s status is important to the Chiefs. He’s a dynamic playmaker who has rushed for 804 yards.  Defenses have to respect him, meaning they can’t  focus on Patrick Mahomes.

When you add on all the Chiefs’ injuries on top of concern about Edwards-Helaire, this will be a challenging weekend for the Chiefs.

Helaire’s status Could Prompt Late Bettors

The Chiefs’ injury woes hasn’t changed the line this week. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs are such a dominant offensive team that bettors trust they can handle the Browns even without Helaire.

As long as Mahomes is healthy, bettors feel confident about the Chiefs.

However, when the Chiefs announce their decision about Helaire on Sunday morning, it could prompt some late action. The Browns have been playing well enough to persuade bettors that they can keep this game close if Helaire is out of the lineup. Getting 10 points could be enticing for bettors, particularly those who live in Cleveland.

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.