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Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers Inactives and Injury Reports for Week 2 MNF

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NFL Football

Updated Sep 18, 2023 · 11:53 AM PDT

Amari Cooper runs after the catch versus the Steelers.
Jan 8, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) runs after a catch as Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) chases during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 28-14. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • Amari Cooper headlines the Browns vs Steelers injury report ahead of their Monday Night Football matchup
  • Cooper is reportedly unlikely to play due to a groin injury suffered at practice on Saturday
  • See below for the complete Browns versus Steeler injury reports for Week 2

Browns QB Deshaun Watson looked atrocious for the bulk of Cleveland’s Week 1 win over the Bengals and that was with a healthy receiving corps. Imagine how he’s going to perform on Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh minus his number one pass catcher who’s likely out in the Browns vs Steelers injury report.

That’s got to make Browns backers nervous as we all wait for the official game status of Amari Cooper. The 29-year-old is unlikely to play tonight according to Adam Schefter, but there is media floating around this afternoon refuting that report.

Go to: Browns Injury Report Steelers Injury Report

Cooper’s Potential Absence a Big Blow for Browns

Cooper suffered a groin injury in practice on Saturday and is still not feeling 100%. Cleveland beat reporters claim he woke up in pain this morning, but isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Should Cooper sit, that opens the door for more playing time for Cedric Tillman. The Tennessee product didn’t draw a target in Week 1, but put up over 1,000 receiving yards in his junior season with the Vols. Cooper’s absence could also increase the usage of David Njoku, who torched the Steelers in 2022.

Njoku caught 13 passes for 133 yards and 2 TD against Pittsburgh, and is an excellent buy in the Browns vs Steelers props.

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Cleveland Browns Injury Report

Player-Position Injury Game Status
Amari Cooper-WR Groin Questionable
Siaki Ika-DT Foot Questionable
Juan Thornhill-S Calf Questionable
Jake Conklin-OT knee Out

The only other active starter to pop up on the injury report is safety Juan Thornhill. He’s currently dealing with a calf injury but should be ready to go.

Elsewhere, it remains to be seen how Cleveland will perform after the loss of Jake Conklin in Week 1. The Browns top tackle had to be placed on IR with a knee injury, which is a devastating blow to Cleveland’s offense. Pittsburgh boasts a fierce defensive line and Conklin’s loss could result in a major uptick in the Steelers pass rush productivity.

Pittsburgh Minus Two Impact Players

The Browns aren’t the only team in this matchup missing key pieces. The Steelers are down a pair of impact starters as well, one on each side of the ball.

Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report

Player-Position Injury Game Status
Diontae Johnson-WR Hamstring Out
Cameron Heyward-DT Groin Out
Anthony McFarland Jr-RB Knee Out

Offensively, Diontae Johnson will sit after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1. Johnson led the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards in 2022, but somehow failed to find the end zone. Second leading receiver George Pickens was limited in practice earlier in the Week, but doesn’t carry an injury designation ahead of Monday Night Football.

Defensively, the team will be without leader Cameron Heyward. The three-time All-Pro defensive tackle had to be placed on IR four days ago, thanks to a groin injury suffered in Week 1. His loss is going to put more pressure on star TJ Watt, who’s owned Cleveland in his career.

Watt has recorded 15 sacks against the Browns in 10 games, his most against any franchise in the league per the Browns vs Steelers picks.

How Could Injuries Affect Browns vs Steelers Betting Lines?

As far as the betting market goes, the injuries haven’t really moved the needle in the spread market. Cleveland has fluctuated from a 2 to 2.5-point favorite for the entire week, and both of those lines can still be found if you price shop.

Where injuries have made a dent is in the total market. This contest opened up at 43.5 and has since been bet down all the way to 38.5. The bulk of the wagering on the under appears to be thanks to the professional bettors, as there is a major discrepancy between the over/under handle and the amount of tickets.

Per the Browns vs Steelers betting splits, just 28% of the wagers are on the under, but those bets represent 47% of the handle. Those who bet biggest are siding with a low-scoring game, despite last year’s two meetings producing 42 and 46 point results.

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