Browns vs. Vikings: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
One team will fall to 0-3 when the Minnesota Vikings host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
The Vikings earned a surprise playoff bid last season, and fans had high hopes that their team would earn a trip back this year. But Christian Ponder has turned the ball over five times already—four interceptions and one lost fumble—and Minnesota isn't good enough to overcome his mistakes.
New head coach Rob Chudzinski was hired to breathe new life into Cleveland, but through two games the Browns look like the same disappointing team fans have endured for the past few decades. And after the events that occurred midweek, it seems even more clear that the Browns will struggle to win games this year.
Brandon Weeden won't play this week, and instead of going with veteran Jason Campbell, Chudzinski has decided to roll with Brian Hoyer, as noted by the team's official Twitter account:
BREAKING: Head Coach Rob Chudzinski has informed Brian Hoyer that he will start at quarterback Sunday at Minnesota.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 18, 2013
It was a surprising move, but it didn't compare to what happened shortly thereafter.
Cleveland traded second-year running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday for a first-round pick in 2014, as ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported:
Filed to ESPN: Browns RB Trent Richardson to Indy for Colts' first-round pick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2013
It's hard to imagine that the Browns will be able to absorb such a high degree of shock and change this weekend and still come away with a victory on the road.
Here's what you need to know about this upcoming contest.
When: Sunday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Bovada)
- Over/Under: 41 pts.
- Spread: Minnesota (-7)
Browns Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|T.J. Ward||S||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Ahtyba Rubin||DE||Calf||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Desmond Bryant||DE||Wrist||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Shawn Lauvao||G||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Doubtful|
|Quentin Groves||LB||Ankle||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Brandon Weeden||QB||right Thumb||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||Out|
|Josh Cooper||WR||Shin||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
Vikings Injury Report (via NFL.com)
|Kevin Williams||DT||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Harrison Smith||S||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Phil Loadholt||T||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Fred Evans||DT||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|John Sullivan||C||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Brandon Fusco||G||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Mistral Raymond||S||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Rhett Ellison||TE||Knee||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Erin Henderson||LB||Heel||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Greg Jennings||WR||--||Did Not Participate In Practice||--|
Can Cleveland's Offense Somehow Come to Life?
In two games this year, the Browns have scored just 16 points—the only touchdown coming on a pass from Weeden to Jordan Cameron in Week 1. The Weeden-to-Cameron dynamic was becoming exciting to watch, but it was really the only thing the Browns had going on offense in two weeks.
The offensive line performed poorly on both running and passing plays, and the entire offensive unit was a stagnant mess.
Perhaps Chudzinski, Michael Lombardi and the rest of the brass in Cleveland hope Hoyer will somehow get things turned around, but nobody should expect a sudden revival on offense—not that there ever was life to begin with, mind you.
In four previous seasons in the NFL, Hoyer has started just once before. He's attempted 96 career passes, completing 67 of them for 616 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He struggled equally during his tenure at Michigan State, where he threw 35 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for the Spartans.
It's not looking good for Browns fans, who will likely spend their Sundays this season in a pool of their own tears.
Cleveland's defense is good enough to keep the team in most games, but there's no doubt Minnesota should win this game at home.
Cleveland's offensive line has been a sieve on passing downs and hasn't done a good job creating running lanes, which means Jared Allen and Co. will have a field day behind the line of scrimmage.
Which team will win?
Ponder has to play better to ensure victory, but the Vikings can establish Peterson early in the game and ride him to their first win of the season.
The Browns are doomed to fall to 0-3.
Vikings win 23-13
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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