Cincinnati Bengals: Health of Joe Burrow's Calf Adds to Cincinnati's Concerns
Not only are the Bengals 0-2, but the health of Joe Burrow remains a concern after he aggravated his calf injury during Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Ravens.
Burrow limped to the sideline and was on the bench treating his calf after Cincinnati's final possession. Burrow said he would have continued playing had the Bengals gotten the ball back. However, it was obvious Burrow was in discomfort and he did not immediately speculate on his availability for Week 3, when the Bengals host the Rams on Monday Night Football.
"I'm not sure how it's going to feel the next couple days," Burrow said. "It's pretty sore right now. No telling how it's going to feel. So, I think we're going to take it day by day."
Burrow missed nearly six weeks this summer with the strained calf he suffered during the second practice of training camp. He returned in time to start Week 1 against the Browns, but Burrow is averaging just 152 yards passing in two games, with two touchdown passes and one interception.
The Bengals remained hopeful that Burrow would overcome this latest setback, knowing his toughness has never been a question.
"I'm pretty sure he could push through it," wide receiver Tee Higgins said. "We've seen him push through injuries multiple times. It's Joe. He's mysterious. You never know what he's going to do."
Cleveland Browns: Amari Cooper Unlikely to Play on Monday Night Football
The Browns are unlikely to have No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper in the lineup on Monday Night Football against the Steelers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Cooper reportedly aggravated a groin injury during practice on Saturday.
Cooper underwent core muscle surgery during the offseason. Though he wasn't 100 percent down the stretch in 2022, he played in every game and led the Browns with 78 catches for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Browns (1-0) haven't started 2-0 since 1993, but have a chance to accomplish that after opening the season with a 21-point victory over the Bengals. If Cooper's not in the lineup, the Browns will look for receivers Elijah Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Marquise Goodwin to step up for quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Containing Browns Will Be Challenge Without Cam Heyward
The Steelers (0-1) will face the Browns on Monday Night Football without six-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Cam Heyward, who was injured in Week 1. Heyward was placed on injured reserve and underwent groin surgery last week, with an estimated eight-week timetable for his return.
Heyward is a three-down lineman who excels defending both the run and the pass. He has 20.5 combined sacks over the past two years, and he often occupies two offensive linemen against the run.
Heyward's absence could be particularly important against the Browns, who feature Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb. The Steelers are 5-0-1 against Cleveland when Chubb rushes for fewer than 80 yards, but 0-3 when he tops that mark.
"Replacing Cam not a one-man job, man, it is a multiple-man job and a coach's job because it changes your schematics when you lose significant players," Head Coach Mike Tomlin said via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. "We all acknowledge that, and we all run to that, not away from that."