The unofficial kickoff to the 2023 season has arrived with the Cleveland Browns scheduled to take on the New York Jets in Thursday night's Hall of Fame game.
Let's dive into the news, notes, depth charts, historical playing time, and notable injuries for all four teams heading into Thursday.
The Browns announced these players won't be dressing for the game, and therefore, won't be available to play:
The Jets won't be playing any starters, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.
NOT LISTED ON INJURY REPORT: WR Mike Harley Jr. (head)
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but Zac Jackson of The Athletic doesn't believe the starters or veterans will play.
To follow along with that theme, Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram also says the team will mostly play "young players".
Per this article from The Athletic:
With [Jerome] Ford out, John Kelly Jr. was generally up as the No. 2 running back ahead of Demetric Felton Jr. Expect to see a lot of Kelly and undrafted rookie running back Hassan Hall in Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game.
Another article from The Athletic highlights much of the same theme:
When the Browns and Jets open the NFL’s preseason on Aug. 3 in the Hall of Fame Game, it’s highly unlikely any of Cleveland’s regulars will participate. Expect to see mostly young players and third-teamers, and it likely won’t be until then that we’ll get an extended view of those players.
OUT: OT Duane Brown (shoulder); DOUBTFUL: WR Garrett Wilson (ankle); WR Corey Davis (illness); IN: T Mekhi Becton (knee); WR Jason Brownlee (shoulder/arm)
The Jets will start backup QB Zach Wilson in this game, though they haven't yet elaborated on how long the former first-rounder will play. Head coach Robert Saleh also said he doesn't anticipate any of the starters playing.
Former first-round pick OL Mekhi Becton will play in this game and is expected to get about 20-25 snaps of playing time. Becton has appeared in just 15 games since being a first-round pick in 2020.
Like the Browns, the Jets are going to mostly play their young players in this contest. No surprise.
Saleh mentioned Wilson having offensive lineman in front of him who are competing for jobs. That means no Alijah Vera-Tucker, Laken Tomlinson, or Connor McGovern.
WR Jason Brownlee has reportedly performed incredibly well during training camp practices. Brownlee injured his shoulder in practice on Tuesday but should be "ok" for the game, according to GMFB's Peter Schrager. He's a player to watch.