Greg Robinson Likely Out Sunday, Steelers Without Pair of Offensive Weapons
It appears the Cleveland Browns will be without left tackle Greg Robinson against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He didn't practice on Friday, still in the concussion protocol after reporting symptoms on Wednesday. Eric Murray, who has been out for weeks with a knee injury and Pharaoh Brown also didn't practice Friday. Neither is expected to play this week.
That means the Browns will likely be going back to Justin McCray, who filled in at left tackle the last time Robinson was out against the New England Patriots. In that situation, Robinson was benched as opposed to injury. McCray was pretty dreadful in his place.
The Browns also have Kendall Lamm, who appears to be healthy after suffering a knee injury in week one of the season. He's historically performed better than McCray in his career, especially in pass protection, and was signed to be a swing tackle for this season, so he's also an option. To this point, he hasn't been mentioned as a possibility.
T.J. Watt will be lined up over Chris Hubbard almost exclusively, which is a challenge in its own right. Hubbard did reasonably well in the first game, but Watt is certainly a game changing threat. Meanwhile, Bud Dupree is more than good enough to take advantage of a weakness and if McCray or Lamm is in there and can't do the job, Baker Mayfield could be dealing with substantial pressure from both edges.
The Steelers have their own issues on the injury front. James Conner isn't expected to play, dealing with a shoulder injury he aggravated in the first matchup with the Browns. His sentiment after the fact was he probably shouldn't have played in that game as he's suffered a significant setback.
Juju Smith-Schuster is out of concussion protocol, but he's been dealing with a knee injury and has yet to practice this week. For quarterback Devlin Hodges, starting in place of the now benched Mason Rudolph, not having the two most significant offensive weapons will make it that much more challenging to defeat the Browns.
Head coach Mike Tomlin's expectations aren't that high for Hodges. His main reason for putting him in there was due to Rudolph making game-losing mistakes. All Tomlin wants from Hodges is to protect the football in the hopes his defense can keep it close and do just enough to win the game.