Duke Johnson may not play vs. Panthers due to death in family
The Cleveland Browns will be looking to win their fifth game of the season when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but their backfield may be a little shorthanded.
Duke Johnson Jr. has not been with the Browns this week after his grandmother passed away, and Michael Silver of NFL.com reports that the running back may not return to the team in time for Sunday’s game.
I’m told that Duke Johnson, who has been away from the Browns due to the death of his grandmother, may not return for Sunday’s game against the Panthers
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 7, 2018
Johnson has not been a big part of the running game with the emergence of rookie Nick Chubb, but he has 36 receptions for 347 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Baker Mayfield often looks to Johnson as a safety valve in passing situations, so his absence could hurt Cleveland in what suddenly looks like a winnable game against a Panthers team that is 1-5 on the road.
UPDATE: Johnson was present for practice on Friday, which should put him on track to play Sunday.