One of Hudson’s jobs will be keeping Chargers defenders off Mayfield, who has played the past two games with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. If they’re worried about Hudson, the Browns could start Blake Hance, who filled in at left guard for last year’s playoff win and is versatile enough to play tackle.
While they’ll be without Wills this week, the Browns have their man in the middle back.
Cleveland starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. was activated from injured reserve and will make his return Sunday after missing three games with a hamstring injury.
While he was out, the defense posted back-to-back impressive performances in wins over Chicago and Minnesota, holding the Bears and Vikings to a combined 20 points.
Cleveland’s defense is ranked second overall in the NFL going into the matchup against Los Angeles and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
“It’s been fun to watch,” Walker said of the unit’s turnaround following a slow start. “The guys are clicking on all cylinders right now. Being able to stop the run and then rush coverage has been great, and getting off the field on third down. I’m definitely looking forward to keep trending in that right direction.”
Walker signed with Cleveland as a free agent after four seasons with Indianapolis. He had a team-leading 10 tackles in a season-opening loss at Kansas City before injuring a hamstring the next week in practice.
The Browns (3-1) need Walker back as their defense is dealing with injuries to several key contributors.