The Cleveland Browns‘ 2019 campaign has been a disappointment in every sense of the word, but it’s especially been hard on tight end David Njoku. The former first-round pick has been a healthy scratch over the past two games, and it’s unclear if he will play in the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Njoku can see that his future may not be in Cleveland, and he discussed his situation with reporters on Friday. Head coach Freddie Kitchens may be on the chopping block himself after winning just six out of his first 15 games, but if he’s given another chance, Njoku is not sure he will receive the same grace.
“That’s a good question,” Njoku told Cleveland.com when asked if there’s a place for him if Kitchens remains. “I don’t want to answer that yet. I’m not sure, so no comment.”
“I’m really doing everything I’m doing now for my teammates at this point. Obviously it’s been a rollercoaster and at this point in my life with where I’m at, I’m just doing everything for the guys that I play with.”
Njoku put up a career-high 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. He appeared to be someone who could help Baker Mayfield usher this offense into the new era, but he broke his wrist in Week 2 against the New York Jets. Njoku initially planned on letting his wrist heal on its own, but then decided to undergo surgery.
Kitchens had the chance to bring his starting tight end back off injured reserve in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, but decided to make him inactive. Njoku wouldn’t return until Week 14 during the 27-19 victory the Browns registered over the Bengals, but he caught just one pass for four yards. He would again be made inactive for the next two games.
“Obviously I want to be out there giving it my all with my teammates, but under whatever condition, I’m a healthy scratch for the second week in a row,” Njoku said. “Here we are last game, and I’m still unsure whether I’m allowed to play or not. It’s tough, but it’s not up to me.”