The Cleveland Browns are not going to the NFL Playoffs once again this season. They have struggled through growing pains throughout the 2012 NFL regular season, and may be forced to do so even more in the Week 17 finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Due to various injuries to countless starters, the Browns may be forced to suffer through what could be their toughest game all season long, as Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy may all watch this one from the sidelines.
According to multiple sources, the Browns have already ruled Richardson out for the season finale on Sunday on the road against the Steelers. It never looked likely that Richardson would play, but the odds now appear to be zero. He will not get the opportunity to rush for 50 more yards to reach 1,000 in his rookie season.
Weeden may also be forced to finish his rookie season with Cleveland on the sidelines, as a shoulder injury has kept him out of practice all week long. McCoy is said to be closer to being able to play than Weeden, but the Browns have been feeding Thad Lewis and Josh Johnson the snaps during practice this week.
That does not bode well for any of the three aforementioned players on offense starting for the Browns on Sunday, although nothing has been made official. The Steelers also have nothing to play for on Sunday, as they have also been eliminated from playoff contention, following last weekend’s difficult loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at home. But with great crowd support, even in a disappointing season which featured many injuries to some key players from Pittsburgh as well, look for the Steel Curtain defense to step things up, especially if they are facing a plethora of reserves from Cleveland on Sunday.