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Notes: David Njoku taking steps toward second career in Hollywood

PITTSBURGH — David Njoku is just entering his prime as a tight end but has already gotten a jump on his second career.

The 6-foot-4, 246-pounder with a big smile loves the camera and said last week he already filmed his first acting role in a movie. He said filming wrapped in March and the release is expected in the spring.

It’s an action movie called “The Wrecker,” according to IMDB, and features Harvey Keitel, Tyrese Gibson and Danny Trejo, whom Njoku called “one of my favorites.” He referred to Keitel as “a legend.”

Njoku, 27, said he plays a henchman for one of the bad guys, talked “a little bit” and had “a little close-up.” He got the part through a friend of a friend who’s a movie producer and asked if he wanted to do it.


“I said, ‘For sure, I’d love to,’” Njoku said.

He plans to act again next offseason.

“The producer and director really liked me, so they want me to be in more,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed movies, especially action. I’ve always looked up to The Rock, Vin Diesel, all those guys. So it’s exciting.”


Amari Cooper showed last season he’ll play through an injury. He did the same against the Steelers.

Cooper, the Browns’ No. 1 receiver, was active and started. He had been listed as questionable after leaving practice Saturday with a minor groin injury.

Also in the lineup was safety Juan Thornhill, who made his Browns debut after being listed as questionable. He missed the 24-3 opening win over the Bengals with a calf injury.

Cooper played the final five games last season with a core muscle injury that was surgically repaired in the offseason. During the stretch he caught 17 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

“As a veteran you kind of learn how to play through different injuries, so I was able to play through it,” he told The Chronicle-Telegram in August. “You got to be smart in the way that you put together your routes. If you’re going to be three steps ahead of the guy if you’re not hurt, you got to be like five steps ahead of the guy because he kind of has the advantage on you being that you’re hurt.”

He had three catches for 105 yards and both touchdowns against the Commanders, playing even with the Browns out of playoff contention.

“That’s the important thing about being able to play injured,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen. You can decide to sit out and miss out on some easy touchdowns. So I always decide to play.”

Cooper caught three passes for 37 yards in the opener. Last season, his first with the Browns, he caught 78 passes for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.

The inactives were all rookies: defensive tackle Siaki Ika (foot), center Luke Wypler, safety Ronnie Hickman, defensive end Isaiah McGuire and cornerback Kahlef Hailassie.


James Hudson III was the backup right tackle last season, filling in for Jack Conklin. But when Conklin went down in the opener with season-ending torn knee ligaments, rookie Dawand Jones got the call.

“No, that’s not tough for me at all,” Hudson told The Gazette. “I’m all about the team, that’s something I’ve always prided myself since my days back at Michigan, supporting my guys.

“When my opportunity comes I’ll take full advantage of it. I don’t feel no type of way at all. I’m excited for Dawand, ready to see him go out there and ball. I’m going to be right there in his hip pocket the whole night. Help our team get a W.”


Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s contract no longer includes the most guaranteed money in NFL history. His entire five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns signed in 2022 was fully guaranteed.

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, a two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time MVP, agreed to a restructured deal Monday. Starting with when the contract was signed in 2020, he’ll receive $273 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.


The Steelers placed receiver Diontae Johnson (hamstring) and running back/kickoff returner Anthony McFarland Jr. (knee) on injured reserve before the game. Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward (groin) was placed on IR last week.

Their inactives were quarterback Mason Rudolph, cornerback Desmond King, offensive lineman Dylan Cook and receiver Dez Fitzpatrick.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.


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