G Joel Bitonio (10.18.21)

On the challenge with the number of injuries the Browns have sustained in recent weeks, particularly with the short week:

“It is unfortunate. You are always dealing with injuries in the NFL. It seems like it is piling up a little bit for us right now, but like you said, we have a game in three days so we have to be focused on the guys who are going to be out on the field for us. Hopefully, we can get a few guys back who have not been out there and we can get guys ready to play. It is an unfortunate part of the NFL is guys get hurt. It is how can you combat it, how can you step up and have the next guy make a play for your team and find a way to win some of these games.”


On QB Baker Mayfield aggravating his left, non-throwing shoulder injury and how that prioritizes the Browns OL’s focus to protect Mayfield from hits as much as possible:

“It speaks to how much he loves the game and loves his team that he wants to keep getting back out there, but you can’t get him hit. Obviously, if he lands on it, it is probably not going to be great. It is one of those things that we have to work extra hard. I think every lineman goes into the game trying not to get their quarterback hit, but stuff happens. We just have to find a way to help him out and really make it so he is living as good as he can in the pocket.”


On RB Kareem Hunt missing multiple games with a calf injury and if he has spoken to Hunt since the injury:

“I talked to him after the game. We did not know how serious it was then. He was just disappointed to get hurt like that. Him, (RB) Nick (Chubb) and some of the guys we play with, they put everything they have on the line every time they touch the ball. Sometime this guy falls and he is hurdling over guys at the line of scrimmage and stuff, and he just wants to win so bad. I really do feel like he represents how the Cleveland Browns want to play football. To see him go down like that is just unfortunate. Obviously, him and Chubb are a big one-two punch, and him the passing game and pass blocking, he does a lot of things for us on offense. It is another big loss. Hopefully, he can come back and we can steady the ship without him.”


On if it was almost shocking to see Hunt not get up on Sunday due to the injury, given Hunt’s aggressive running style and toughness:

“I was not sure who was hurt. I got off of the field, and when he finally limped off or got carried off, I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I did not even know it was Kareem until he started walking off of the field. Yeah, the guy does take a beating the way he runs the ball, but you expect those guys to get up. It is just football. It stinks. Sometimes you are just a little bit unlucky out there.”


On the faith and confidence in RBs D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton with Hunt out and Chubb’s status being uncertain for Thursday:

“A lot. We have seen a lot from D’Ernest from the preseason and the Dallas game last year. He has done a lot of good things on special teams. He had a couple of carries this game. There is a decent amount of experience with him. Felton obviously has kind of been our gadget guy and we get him the ball in multiple ways. I know we have (RB John) Kelly on the P-squad who has some experience, as well. We have faith in those guys. Obviously, we want Chubb back, but we have faith in those guys, as well, if their names are called.”