David Njoku

Cleveland Browns
Tight End #85
Cleveland Browns
Tight End #85
Photo: Icon Sportswire

David Njoku News

Grabs two passes in win

Njoku caught two of four targets for 20 yards in Sunday's 13-10 win over the Lions.

Analysis: The downfield passing game suffered with the inconsistency of injured quarterback Baker Mayfield (shoulder/knee/foot). The quarterback was booed after missing badly on a throw to Njoku with just over five minutes left. Unfortunately for Njoku and the rest of the receivers, that's the state of Cleveland's offense right now. A healthy Nick Chubb is its best weapon. Since a Week 5 breakout performance, Njoku has caught 10 of 18 targets for 112 yards and one touchdown over six games.

Nov 22, 2021 3:51 AM EST

Likely starter vs. DET

Njoku is expected to draw the start opposite Austin Hooper on Sunday against Detroit, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reports.

Analysis: The Cleveland passing game has taken several major hits after trading Odell Beckham to the Rams, as Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) and Anthony Schwartz (concussion) are inactive for the Week 11 contest. This leaves Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins as the primary wideouts, with both Ja'Marcus Bradley and Lawrence Cager activated from the practice squad and available Sunday. It seems Cleveland will address this problem by using less three-WR sets, instead electing to use both Njoku and Austin Hooper in a base formation featuring two tight ends. Don't be surprised if Harrison Bryant finds himself in the mix as well. As for Njoku, he's been out-snapped by Hooper in all but two weeks this season, and has had consecutive weeks with only one catch (though his Week 9 reception was a touchdown).

Nov 21, 2021 8:53 AM EST

Shut down Week 10

Njoku caught one of four targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 45-7 loss to the Patriots.

Analysis: It was a tough day for the Cleveland offense, which did nothing after its scripted first drive that resulted in a touchdown. Quarterback Baker Mayfield (knee/shoulder) was off all day, even during the scoring drive. The quarterback's lone pick came on a pass to Njoku, who may have been expected to come back for the ball but didn't. The silver lining is that Cleveland's tight ends have received nearly as many targets as the team's wideouts since Odell Beckham skipped town; the downside is that all three tight ends are used significantly and any one of them could be a fantasy producer.

Nov 15, 2021 4:51 AM EST

Snags second TD

Njoku caught one of three targets for 18 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 41-16 win over Cincinnati.

Analysis: Njoku finished off the scoring with an 18-yard grab late in the fourth quarter, cementing a bid road win for the Browns, who entered the game off a pair of wobbly efforts on offense while attempting to put the Odell Beckham drama behind them. All three of Njoku's targets were inside the Bengals 20, and the touchdown was his first in four weeks.

Nov 7, 2021 7:02 PM EST

Finishes second in receiving yards

Njoku caught all three targets for 39 yards in Sunday's 15-10 loss to the Steelers.

Analysis: Since breaking out Week 5, Njoku has been a quiet part of Cleveland's offense. In three subsequent games, the tight end has six catches for 63 yards and zero touchdowns. On a positive note, he's caught 83.3 percent of his targets and is averaging 16.2 yards per catch.

Nov 1, 2021 5:06 AM EST

Quiet in win

Njoku caught two of two targets for 18 yards in Thursday's 17-14 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: Njoku managed a knee injury during the short practice week but was available to play. He was on the field for 59 percent (42 snaps) of the offensive plays, which is right at his season average.

Oct 22, 2021 3:38 AM EST

Cleared for TNF

Njoku (knee) doesn't carry an injury designation for Thursday night's game against the Broncos after being listed as a full participant on Wednesday's practice report, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Analysis: The Browns offense is peppered with key injuries, with starting QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) out and the team's top two running backs, Nick Chubb (calf) and Kareem Hunt (calf/IR) both unavailable. Moreover, the Week 7 status of wideouts Odell Beckham (shoulder) and Jarvis Landry (knee, IR-R) is cloudy at this stage. With that context in mind, it's plausible that Cleveland's tight ends (Njoku, Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant) could be busy Thursday. Njoku, who recorded a 7/149/1 stat line in the team's Week 5 loss to the Chargers, caught just one of his two targets for six yards in this past Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, but there's a decent chance he'll have added opportunities this week.

Oct 20, 2021 1:02 PM EST

Another limited listing

Njoku (knee) was limited at Tuesday's practice, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Analysis: For a third week in a row, Njoku practice reps have been capped due to a knee issue. On this occasion, though, he appears to be a bit more healthy, with limited next to his name on both Week 7 injury reports. The Browns will have a chance to clear him entirely Wednesday, but even they don't he seems to be in good shape to play Thursday versus the Broncos.

Oct 19, 2021 1:30 PM EST

Tending to knee issue

The Browns list Njoku as a limited participant on Monday's estimated practice report due to a knee issue, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: Cleveland didn't hold an officially practice one day after its 37-14 loss to the Cardinals, but Njoku looks as though he may be dinged up coming out of that contest. After a massive Week 5 outing (seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown) in a loss to the Chargers, Njoku delivered a 1-6-0 line on two targets while playing 26 of the Browns' 59 offensive snaps (44 percent) in the Week 6 loss. The 44-percent share was more than 10 points below his previous season-low share (56 percent), which came back in Week 1.

Oct 18, 2021 2:08 PM EST

Big dropoff Week 6

Njoku caught one of two targets for six yards in Sunday's 37-14 loss to Arizona.

Analysis: Njoku experienced a deep drop in production after a breakout Week 5, in which he caught seven passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the knee injury he nursed during the preparation for Week 6 limited him. He played a season-low 44 percent of the offensive snaps on a day when the Browns aired it out while playing from behind early. Those have been the games where Njoku is most productive.

Oct 18, 2021 5:53 AM EST

Cleared for Week 6

Njoku (knee) doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against Arizona.

Analysis: Njoku was unable to practice Wednesday but returned in a limited fashion Thursday and Friday, which was enough to clear him. The 25-year-old tight end will look to build on last week's excellent performance (149 yards and a touchdown) at home against the league's last remaining undefeated team.

Oct 15, 2021 1:44 PM EST

Back at practice

Njoku (knee) returned to a limited practice Thursday.

Analysis: Njoku, who caught all seven of his targets for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' 47-42 loss to the Chargers in Week 5, sat out Wednesday's practice with a knee issue, but his return to a limited session has him trending in the right direction as Sunday's game against the Cardinals approaches. Friday's final injury report will reveal whether the tight end heads into the weekend carrying an injury designation or is able to finish the week with a full practice and subsequently cleared to play.

Oct 14, 2021 2:32 PM EST

Nursing knee injury

Njoku (knee) will not practice Wednesday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: Njoku is coming off the best game of his career (7-149-1) in Sunday's 47-42 loss to the Chargers, but he appears to have injured his knee in the process. Cleveland's lengthy injury report also features Nick Chubb (calf), Kareem Hunt (wrist, knee) and Myles Garrett (knee, ankle), so it's possible that the team is simply providing some key contributors with a bit of rest. The Browns are slated for a tough matchup against the undefeated Cardinals in Week 6.

Oct 13, 2021 9:37 AM EST

Career-best numbers in loss

Njoku caught all seven of his targets for 149 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 47-42 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: The tight end was Baker Mayfield's top option on the day, leading the Browns in catches, targets and receiving yards -- in fact, Njoku's 149 yards more than doubled the next-best total by a Cleveland receiver, 70 yards from Donovan Peoples-Jones. It was also the first 100-yard performance in Njoku's career, and the 2017 first-round pick is finally displaying the form he flashed in 2018 prior to a couple injury-plagued campaigns. He'll look to keep rolling in Week 6 against the undefeated Cardinals.

Oct 10, 2021 7:02 PM EST

Suits up Sunday

Njoku (knee) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Chargers.

Analysis: Njoku, who has logged seven catches on 10 targets for 111 yards in four games to date, is out there if you need him Sunday, but his weekly fantasy ceiling is hampered by the fact that Austin Hooper (11/97/1, 16 targets) and Harrison Bryant (6/69/0, 10 targets) also command their share of the Browns' tight end looks.

Oct 10, 2021 11:44 AM EST

Questionable for Week 5

Njoku (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers, Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Analysis: Njoku hadn't previously dealt with any injuries this season until a knee injury cut into his practice time this week. The Browns have Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant on hand should Njoku -- who has seven catches for 111 yards this season -- need to miss any time.

Oct 8, 2021 10:41 AM EST

Picks up knee injury

Njoku (knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Analysis: It's his first missed practice of the season, though he's one of 11 Browns missing Wednesday's session. If Njoku does end up missing Week 5, the Browns will have more work for fellow tight ends Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant. The three have been working in a committee all year, limiting Njoku to 10 targets on 62 percent snap share in four games.

Oct 6, 2021 1:44 PM EST

Catches two passes in win

Njoku caught two of two targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 14-7 win over the Vikings.

Analysis: After a Week 1 explosion for 76 yards and two catches of more than 20 yards, Njoku has just four catches for 35 yards the following three weeks. That opening week should be viewed as an outlier, as Cleveland and Kansas City hooked up in a shootout. The Browns normal course of operation is what occurred Weeks 2 through 4 -- a run happy team that throws when it has to or to keep defenses from keying on running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Njoku and fellow backup tight end Harrison Bryant are tied at 10 targets through four weeks, although Njoku consistently has led in snaps.

Oct 4, 2021 5:13 AM EST

Leads TEs in snaps

Njoku was not targeted in 50 snaps (62 percent share) in Sunday's 26-6 win over the Bears.

Analysis: Njoku continues to get a healthy share of the snaps on offense, but his fantasy production dropped off for a second straight week following a five-target performance in the Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. The main difference in the two weeks since the opener is that Cleveland is running the ball much more than they did in the Kansas City game, which was a more wide-open affair. Fellow backup tight end Harrison Bryant (33 snaps, 41 percent share) failed to catch either of his two targets.

Sep 27, 2021 5:47 AM EST

Falls back Week 2

Njoku caught two of three targets for 18 yards in Sunday's 31-21 win over the Browns.

Analysis: Njoku was Cleveland's receiving-yard leader Week 1, but he finished behind several others Sunday, including tight end mates Austin Hooper and, more notably, fellow backup Harrison Bryant. It's not that the Browns shied away from him -- his three targets were third on the team -- but that's just how the game transpired. He played more snaps (36) than Bryant (31) and remains an active target, which could be beneficial in the coming weeks. The position group as a whole became more important to the offense after Jarvis Landry sustained a knee injury and is expected to miss multiple weeks. If Odell Beckham (knee) remains out Week 3 against Chicago, Njoku, Bryant and Hooper could have as heavy involvement in the game plan for the Bears as they did against the Texans.

Sep 20, 2021 4:51 AM EST

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