The Cleveland Browns could be without their best pass-rusher this Sunday, as linebacker Jabaal Sheard did not practice today, and is being listed as doubtful. Along with him likely being out are linebacker Quentin Groves and defensive end Billy Winn, but the loss of Sheard would be the most significant one.
In three games, Sheard has notched 13 tackles, a fumble recovery and 1.5 sacks, and according to Pro Football Focus, Sheard is Cleveland’s highest rated defender so far this year.
Thankfully for the Bengals, he will not get to add to those stat lines this weekend, but the Browns aren’t exactly in a terrible position with his absence though, as they have a top-10 draft pick waiting in the wings if he can’t go.
Rookie first-round pick Barkevious Mingo stands to make his first start with Groves and Sheard out.
He recorded a sack on his first play and added another one last week in the Browns’ 31-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Mingo has contributed six tackles and a deflected pass, and looks to be everything the Browns had hoped he’d be when they made him the No. 6 overall pick this past April.