CINCINNATI—The Browns will play the nationally televised game tonight without the services of five starters, three on offense and two on defense. Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner will be missing in the secondary, while wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Brian Hartline will not play on offense.
Rookie Ibraheim Campbell will make his first NFL start in place of Whitner, while Pierre Desir will start in place of Haden. Taylor Gabriel will start in place of Hartline and Travis Benjamin will start in place of Hawkins, while Johnny Manziel will start in place of Josh McCown.
Six of the seven inactive players for the Browns were injured with Haden, Hawkins, Hartline and Whitner all inactive with concussions. Defensive back Jordan Poyer is out with a shoulder injury and McCown is sidelined with a shoulder and rib injuries.
The only player inactive player that wasn’t on the injury report was linebacker Jayson DiManche.
Rookie E.J. Bibbs was active for the first time this season after third team tight end Rob Housler was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. De’Ante Saunders was promoted from the practice squad to replace Housler on the 53-man roster. It will be the NFL debut for both Bibbs and Saunders.
Johnny Manziel is starting in place of McCown with Austin Davis as the backup with McCown inactive.The Browns have just four active wide receivers with Hawkins and Hartline inactive. Dwayne Bowe and Marlon Moore are the backups to Benjamin and Gabriel. Bowe was active last week but did not catch a pass. He is still looking for his first reception of the season.
Inactive for the Bengals were: wide receiver Mario Alford, cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, linebacker Rey Maualuga, offensive tackle Andre Smith, tight end C.J. Uzomah, defensive tackle Marcus Hardison and defensive tackle Pat Sims.