The 2023 season was the first of a four-year, $60 million extension Conklin signed last season. He’s signed through 2026, but Monday’s news places the tackle in a familiar, frustrating place. In his four years with Cleveland, he’s appeared in 14 or more games in even-year seasons, but hasn’t exceeded seven games played in odd-year campaigns. Conklin missed nine games in 2021 due to elbow and knee injuries, but was able to return and play 14 games last season.
Unfortunately for the two-time All-Pro, 2023 ended after one half of football.
As he did for much of the preseason, Jones handled the responsibilities of right tackle remarkably well, staying out of the spotlight Sunday by doing his job. The massive tackle arrived in Cleveland via a fourth-round pick out of Ohio State and looks to be capable of replacing Conklin going forward. He’ll fill such a role when the Browns head to Pittsburgh for a Monday night contest in one week.
Stefanski confirmed Jones will be starting in Conklin’s place going forward.
“Dawand has been constantly working with coach (Bill) Callahan to get ready,” he said. “There are no redshirts in the NFL. He will continue to get better.”