Browns without WR Amari Cooper, kicker and punter as they try to clinch playoff berth against Jets

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

CLEVELAND – Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper will miss Thursday night's game against the New York Jets after injuring a heel during a record-setting performance last week.

The Browns (10-5) can clinch a playoff berth with a win, but they'll have to do it without Cooper, who set the team mark with 265 yards receiving against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

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Cooper came in listed as questionable and was expected to play. But after taking the field two hours before kickoff, the Browns decided to rest him on a short week.

The 29-year-old Cooper had 11 catches and two touchdowns last week and became the first player in Cleveland history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Cooper played the final month last season with a core muscle injury that required offseason surgery. He has 72 catches for 1,250 yards and five TDs.

The Browns will also try to lock up a playoff spot without their starting kicker and punter.

Dustin Hopkins, who has been the NFL's most accurate kickers this season, was previously ruled out with a left hamstring injury. Hours before the game, the Browns said punter Corey Bojorquez is inactive with a quadriceps injury.

Both Hopkins and Bojorquez got hurt in last week's win at Houston.

Earlier this week, the Browns signed kicker Riley Patterson, recently released by Detroit to their practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster before facing the Jets (6-9) along with punter Matt Haack, who was signed Tuesday.

Browns Kevin Stefanski said Hopkins is “week-to-week” with the injury and didn’t know if he will be for the playoffs.

New York's kicking issues aren't quite as dramatic.

The Jets will have Greg Zuerlein, who was questionable with an injured right quadriceps and missed some practice time this week. Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 5 seconds left Sunday in a win over Washington.

Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian, who is making his second start with Zach Wilson out with a concussion, won't have receiver Allen Lazard. He's out with an illness.

Earlier this week, the Jets ruled out offensive tackle Duane Brown (back) and tight end Jeremy Ruckert (concussion).

The Browns are also without linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. (knee) and defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo (pectoral), who are both missing their third straight games.

Patterson has big shoes to fill for the Browns in their biggest game of 2023.

Hopkins has been successful on 33 of 36 field-goal tries, including all eight attempts beyond 50 yards. He's in his first season with Cleveland, which acquired him in a trade in August after releasing Cade York.

Patterson has appeared in 37 games for Detroit and Jacksonville. He's made 58 of 66 field goals and 87 of 90 extra points. He went 15 of 17 on field goals and 35 of 37 on extra points before the Lions cut him last week.

Haack has punted for Miami, Buffalo and Indianapolis. He was with Browns special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone last year on the Colts.



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