The Cleveland Browns fell to 3-3 on the season via Sunday's 37-14 blowout loss to the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals and are the walking wounded heading into Thursday's prime-time showdown with the 3-3 Denver Broncos.
As Jake Trotter of ESPN noted, Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters Monday that running back Kareem Hunt will miss "several weeks" because of the calf injury that caused him to get carted off the field Sunday. Fellow ball-carrier Nick Chubb missed the Cardinals game with a calf issue of his own, and his status for Thursday is unclear.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added:
Calf injuries are always tough to predict, but the rough estimate was 4-6 weeks for Kareem Hunt. Cleveland is now down another RB heading into Thursday. https://t.co/N0Ul2w8fgA— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 18, 2021
The news only gets worse for Cleveland fans at the start of the week, as rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is set to miss multiple games because of an ankle injury:
#Browns coach Kevin Stefanski describes RB Kareem Hunt’s calf injury as significant and confirms he’ll miss weeks. He says LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is out weeks, too, with what I’m told is a high-ankle sprain. Those are generally 4-6 weeks.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 18, 2021
According to Ben Axelrod of Cleveland's WKYC, quarterback Baker Mayfield may miss at least Thursday's contest after he re-dislocated his left shoulder in Sunday's loss. He suffered the initial injury in Week 2 back on Sept. 19.
Backup Case Keenum would become the temporary QB1 in Mayfield's absence.
"With any injury, I'm not the expert. I'm not the medical expert, so I will listen to the medical team here and we listen to the player," Stefanski said of Mayfield. "With every single player here, you treat them, you have dialogue with them, you talk to the doctors who will make the decisions and make smart decisions for all these guys."
As Josh Alper explained for Pro Football Talk, the Browns were already without right tackle Jack Conklin and left tackle Jedrick Wills against Arizona due to injury issues, and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a shoulder problem during the loss. Cleveland now only has three full days to get right before the Broncos come to town.