Blake Hance not certain to start at right tackle in Week 14 for Browns versus Ravens

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The Cleveland Browns get a quick turnaround in their rematch with the Baltimore Ravens. Fresh off their bye week, the Browns should be as healthy and prepared as possible for the game. Fresh off losing a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where they lost another important player, the Ravens come into the game limping.

Cleveland isn’t totally healthy, although there is a chance they get LB Jacob Phillips back, going into the game either. During the two teams’ matchup in Week 12, right tackle Jack Conklin hurt his knee and was lost for the season.

Blake Hance, as he had done the previous weeks as Conklin was out, stepped in at right tackle and struggled. The Ravens attacked his side of the line regularly and the offense had a hard time getting things moving.

Despite the struggles, expectations were that Hance would start the rest of the year in Conklin’s place. During Monday’s press conference, head coach Kevin Stefanski put a pause on those expectations:

The logical replacement would be rookie James Hudson III but his showing earlier this season was even worse than Hance’s. Alex Taylor is on the team’s practice squad and could be brought up to start for this week as well.

Outside options are highly limited and unlikely. While former Browns tackle Mitchell Schwartz might be healthy enough to play, if the team was going in that direction they would have brought him (or another free agent) in during the bye week.

It is still likely that Hance would assume the role unless the team saw a lot of progression from Hudson. Taylor was cut earlier in the year by Cleveland and bounced around before returning to the practice squad. Elevating him to start in such an important game seems unlikely.

The Browns are currently favorites in Sunday’s rematch.