Jedrick Wills of Cleveland Browns will play; Malcolm Smith at the start

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CLEVELAND – Jedrick Wills Jr. will attempt to recover from an ankle injury for the Browns in their home opener against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

The Browns (0-1) announced that Wills will start with the left tackle, despite skipping all of last week and being considered questionable to go up against the Texans (1-0).

The team also announced that Malcolm Smith will start at the middle linebacker instead of Anthony Walker Jr., who landed on the injured reserve on Friday with a hamstring injury sustained in Thursday’s practice session.

Wills suffered a left ankle injury in the second quarter of their 33-29 season opener loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week and was eliminated from the game.

Wills logged 20 snaps against the Chiefs and his primary backup, Chris Hubbard, played the other 39 in his place. But Hubbard suffered a triceps injury in Kansas City and the Browns ruled him out on Friday. That means Blake Hance or the fourth round rookie draft pick James Hudson III would be called in to relieve Wills if he can’t make it through Sunday’s game against the Texans.

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The tenth overall selection in last year’s draft was drawn up by Wills before the game under the direction of coach Kevin Stefanski, offensive line coach Bill Callahan and Head of Athletic Training Joe Sheehan. During the warm up, Wills obviously didn’t move as well as he usually does.

Cleveland Browns inactive for home opener against Houston Texans

The following Browns players will be inactive on Sunday: wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (cruciate ligament tear last year), rookie safety Richard LeCounte III, rookie linebacker Tony Fields II, rookie defensive tackle Tommy Togiai and Hubbard (triceps).

Nickelback Troy Hill (thighs / feet), starting center JC Tretter (knee), rookie receiver Anthony Schwartz (knee) and backup guard Michael Dunn (back) have all been considered questionable as they enter the weekend but they are all going to be active for the Browns its sunday.

The Browns announced that backup quarterback Case Keenum will be their game captain.

Houston Texans tight end Pharaoh Brown celebrates a 16-yard touchdown in Cleveland in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, November 15, 2020.  (AP Photo / David Richard)

Houston Texans inactive against Cleveland Browns

The Texans announced that receiver Anthony Miller, quarterback Deshaun Watson (not injured), tight end Brevin Jordan, defensive back Jimmy Moreland, running back Scottie Phillips and defensive linemen Jonathan Greenard and DeMarcus Walker will be inactive against the Browns.

The tight end Pharaoh Brown (ankle, shoulder) and backup linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (Illness) will be active after being classified as playable. Brown played nine games for the Browns in 2019.

Nate Ulrich can be reached at [email protected].


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