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Impact of Jermaine Gresham not playing vs. Browns and who steps up

Kevin Brock is starting for Jermaine Gresham vs. the Browns. Can the Bengals rely on him?

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be without their starting tight end when they take on the Cleveland Browns. Jermaine Gresham missed Friday's practice after being limited during Thursday's session, putting his status in doubt for Sunday's AFC North clash.

After going through pregame warmups, Gresham's injured toe was just much for the fifth-year TE to overcome, and he was declared out. Gresham has been the No. 1 TE all year with Tyler Eifert continuing to recover from a dislocated elbow. In 13 games, Gresham has caught 50 passes on 66 targets for 378 yards (7.6 avg) and three touchdowns.

Kevin Brock will make just his second career start today with just nine career receptions for 82 yards and no scores under his belt. He hasn't done much this year for the Bengals other than be a solid run-blocker when he's in.

Per Pro Football Focus, Brock's 2.7 grade is the fifth best of any Bengal, and it's better than Gresham's 1.5 mark. However, Brock has only be on the field for 86 snaps, which is dwarfed by Gresham's 804.

Also, expect to see more targets for h-back Ryan Hewitt. The rookie has just four catches for 21 yards this year, but does sport a 4.2 overall grade and a 3.4 run-blocking mark via PFF. That's the sixth best overall grade and the fourth best run-blocking grade. Expect to see him lining up at TE today more often than he's accustomed to.