Run Game Ruled Thursday Night Football

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Numerous factors were working against both teams heading into Thursday night’s game. For the Browns, the injury bug hit hard. Quarterback Baker Mayfield did not suit up with a torn labrum and the two-headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt was also absent. One offensive tackle played, even though injured, and the other was out. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry was just activated from injured reserve and Odell Beckham, Jr. played despite a shoulder injury.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos were dealing with injury concerns of their own. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was questionable with a foot injury after getting stepped on last week.
To make sure the game had a gloomy cherry on top, Cleveland was pummeled with thunderstorms and rain all day. It was a balmy 59 degrees with over 20 mph winds at kick-off.

The Run Game Ruled

Despite the injuries, the Browns stuck to their guns with backups D’Ernest Johnson and Case Keenum. They took the game in hand and quite literally ran with it. At halftime, Johnson had nine carries for 64 yards and a touchdown to give the Browns a 10-0 lead with the help of a field goal. Keenum logged 13 completions on 21 attempts for 122 yards.

Johnson finished the game with an additional 13 carries and 82 yards for a total of 24.8 points in PPR.

Melvin Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams both scored in the double digits with 11.2 and 17.2 respectively. Williams was the recipient of a late touchdown to cut the Browns lead to only three points.
The Browns got the ball back with less than six minutes to go, but again, they kept the ball on the ground with Johnson to bleed time off the clock. After Johnson got a first down with less than a minute to play, the game was over.

A Rough Night For Fantasy

Johnson wasn’t the only running back to have a nice outing. Rookie RB Javonte Williams logged just two more rushing yards than fellow RB Melvin Gordon but caught six receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown for 17.2 points.

Other than Johnson and Williams, it was not a good showing from most of the fantasy-relevant players we may have had to start. With six teams on a bye, the options were thin at best.

Case Keenum passed for 199 yards with one touchdown for 12.56 points while Teddy Bridgewater finished with 187 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception for 13.78 points.

Gordon only had 18 rushing yards, two receptions, 14 yards, but did get a receiving touchdown for 11.2 points. The Browns de facto RB2, Demetric Felton, had 13 rushing yards, three receptions, and 21 yards while Johnny Stanton upstaged him with 18 rushing yards, two receptions, 14 yards, and a touchdown.

Courtland Sutton saw enough yards to get over double-digits with 11.8 points on five receptions for 68 yards, but Landry, Beckham, and Tim Patrick only scored in the single digits.

Tight end Noah Fant didn’t completely disappoint with 8.9 points on five receptions for 39 yards, but Austin Hooper and David Njoku scored 6.2 and 3.8 respectively.

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Injury Updates/Quick Hits/COVID-19
Bears RB Damien Williams was absent from practice after testing positive for COVID-19 and missing last week’s game. He is unvaccinated so his status should be monitored heading into Week 7. … Giants TE Evan Engram was on the injury report with his lingering calf injury. WR Sterling Shepard was limited in practice with a hamstring injury. WRs Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, and RB Saquon Barkley did not practice. … Eagles TE Dallas Goedert did not practice on Thursday after coming off of the COVID-19 reserve. … Titans RB Derrick Henry did not practice for an undisclosed reason. … Ravens RB Latavius Murray and WR Sammy Watkins did not practice. … Washington WR Terry McLaurin logged a limited practice dealing with a hamstring injury. RB Antonio Gibson returned to practice as did TE Ricky Seals-Jones. … Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill did not practice. … Colts WR T.Y. Hilton did not practice with a quad injury sustained last week.