In fairness, the Browns have been unlucky with Duke Johnson, who they covet for his multi-dimensional presence. He injured a hamstring three days into camp and suffered a concussion on a nasty, high hit against the Buccaneers.
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo likes to throw to his backs and Johnson is a good fit for the scheme. Isaiah Crowell possesses a nice burst and a nose for the goal line, but he's not a natural pass catcher.
If the rookie can quickly rebound – there's no timetable with head injuries – the Browns might be just fine. Perhaps, Crowell will take the starter's reps against the Jets and run with them. He didn't capitalize on the opportunity midway through last season, however, or at the start of camp when Johnson and Terrance West were sidelined.
A lot is riding on Johnson and his ability to come back. If he can't, the team will have to make a move. There are plenty of backs on the market after cut down day, but the Browns were hoping for a veteran presence to help mold the younger backs. Perhaps the key takeaway is the team seems high on Johnson as a pass-catcher and perhaps even a guy to take over the lead role if Crowell can't establish himself.