Injury Report: Browns LG STAR to play against Texans after dealing with back injury…..

HOUSTON – The Cleveland Browns will spend Christmas Eve taking on the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon, and they will do so with their starting left guard back on the field as Joel Bitonio has been cleared to play.

Bitonio entered Sunday’s game as questionable due to a back injury that left him off the field against the Chicago Bears last week. Bitonio missed training on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to return on Friday. However, the Browns wanted to see how he felt after that practice and throughout the weekend before deciding on his player status. Prior to kickoff, Bitonio was cleared to play and is active against the Texans. Here are the Bronze inactives:S Juan ThornhillLB Anthony Walker Jr.CB Kahlef HailassieLB Jordan KunasyzkThe Ogbo OkoronkwoC Luca WyplerIL Isaiah McGuireKunasyzk, Okoronkwo, Thornhill and Walker all dropped out Friday due to injuries. Kunasyzk and Thornhill are dealing with calf injuries. Okoronkwo is struggling with a chest injury which is not yet allowing him to finish his season. Walker received knee surgery Thursday after being sidelined with a knee injury. The linebacker will be evaluated weekly to see if he can return to play. Meanwhile, Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud ruled out Friday as he remained in the concussion protocol. With Stroud out, the Texans will turn to their backup — a familiar face in Cleveland — and start quarterback Case Keenum.The Browns can no longer clinch a playoff spot this week after the championship’s requisite situations didn’t come to fruition (the Bengals lost and the Bills won in all eight possible scenarios), but a win against the Texans on Sunday would be a win . -and-in situation for the Browns on Thursday night against the New York Jets.

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