Browns Rumors

Browns Activate TE David Njoku From IR

David Njoku is back. The Browns announced this morning that they’ve activated the tight end from injured reserve. To make room on the roster, the team placed cornerback Robert Jackson on injured reserve.

Njoku had been sidelined since Week 2 as he recovered from both a concussion and a broken wrist. There was always optimism that the 23-year-old would be able to return to the field once he passed the concussion protocol, and he was designated to return from the IR in late November.

Prior to this injury, Njoku had played in 34 consecutive games for the Browns since they selected him 29th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The tight end had a breakout season in 2018, hauling in 56 receptions for 639 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll provide Baker Mayfield with another weapon, as the Browns have been relying on the likes of Demetrius Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones during Njoku’s absence.

Jackson, a rookie out of Nevada-Las Vegas, appeared in six games for the Browns this season, compiling three tackles. The defensive back had already been ruled out for this weekend’s game with an ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr., Browns

Closing out the worst season of his six-year career, from a per-game production standpoint, Odell Beckham Jr. did not say whether he wants to be part of the 2020 Browns. He’s under contract through 2023.

I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here,” Beckham said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, adding that Jarvis Landry‘s presence has energized him about being with the Browns. “This is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. God has a plan. In the offseason, everything will figure itself out. I feel like I’ve been here before, answering questions about the next team when I’m on a team already. That’s just something I’m going to tune out for right now. Catch me in the offseason and we’ll see what happens.”

Despite Beckham’s disappointing year, the Browns will surely attempt to see if their recent trade acquisition can build chemistry with Baker Mayfield and bounce back in 2020. Beckham’s contract having no more guaranteed money on it, thanks to the Giants taking that on, would make the three-time Pro Bowler an interesting trade piece — if this situation did progress to that point. Beckham is due $14MM in 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/3/19

We’ll keep track of today’s minor NFL moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Claimed: C Patrick Morris (from Steelers)

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

  • Promote TE Kendall Blanton
  • Placed on IR: WR JoJo Natson

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/3/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: LB Reshard Cliett

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

David Njoku Will Miss Week 13

  • This will not be the week David Njoku returns to the Browns’ skill-position arsenal. The Browns did not activate their top tight end by Saturday afternoon’s deadline, so he will miss another game. With Njoku having returned to practice on Nov. 20, the Browns do not have to activate him until Dec. 10. If Njoku is not activated by then, he will spend the rest of the season on IR. The third-year tight end underwent surgery for a broken wrist during his IR stay.
  • Cleveland will be without left tackle Greg Robinson as well. The oft-scrutinized former No. 2 overall pick did not practice this week and will remain in concussion protocol through Week 13. Kyle Murphy started for Robinson at left tackle when he was benched earlier this year. The Browns, however, gave the sixth-year blocker his job back soon after.

Browns To Scratch Damarious Randall Vs. Steelers

Prior to the now-infamous conclusion to this season’s first Browns-Steelers game, Damarious Randall was ejected for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit. Although Randall was not suspended, he will join Myles Garrett in missing the Pittsburgh leg of this series.

The Browns will make Randall a healthy scratch, having departed for Pennsylvania without the starting safety, according to a team announcement. Freddie Kitchens‘ choice to leave Randall in Cleveland instead stems from an unknown incident that occurred this week, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Randall was ejected after a hit on Diontae Johnson resulted in the Steelers rookie suffering a concussion. Randall played against the Dolphins last week, doing after saying he’d received death threats because of his hit on Johnson. The former Packers defender has started 22 games since being traded to the Browns in 2018. He’s made seven starts this season, missing four games due to injury.

Cleveland has already lost its other starting safety, Morgan Burnett, for the season. The team has consistently had to play backups in the secondary this season, due to injuries and now a surprise scratch.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 11/27/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit on Wednesday:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington

Browns Cut Devaroe Lawrence

The Browns have released Devaroe Lawrence, per a club announcement. The release of Lawrence will open up a spot for fellow defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who is returning from suspension.

[RELATED: NFL Upholds Larry Ogunjobi’s Suspension]

Cutting Lawrence wasn’t necessarily an easy call for the Browns. Prior to his release, Lawrence appeared in all eleven games for Cleveland while appearing in 30% of the team’s snaps.

Per league rules, he’ll hit the waiver wire as a post-trade deadline cut. The league’s 31 other teams will have a 24 hour window to claim him and it’s possible that he could get picked up. Lawrence would only cost the prorated portion of his $570K salary for 2019 and is slated to make just $660K next year.

Lawrence, 27, has eight tackles and one fumble recovery to his credit this year.

Giants S Jabrill Peppers Suffers Fracture

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers was diagnosed with a traverse process fracture, according to a team press release. While it is not uncommon for fractures to end a player’s season, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post reports that head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters he does not expect the injury to be season ending. The training staff does not seem to think that Peppers would be at greater risk of suffering a major injury if he played with the injury, but pain is still a large concern.

In the third season of his professional career, Peppers has avoided missing time with any major injuries, starting 40 of his team’s 43 games. Acquired last offseason in the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, Peppers has been one of the most productive players on New York’s defense. He has recorded 76 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 5 passes defended, and one pick-six.

According to Paul Schwartz of The New York Post, Peppers suffered the injury after returning a kickoff in the first half of the Giants 19-14 loss to the Bears. Normally, Peppers only handles the team’s punt returning duties, but convinced special teams coach Thomas McGaughey to give him a shot. He had returned a punt for 40 yards earlier and felt like he was in a good spot to make a big play.

Julian Love replaced Peppers on Sunday, but defensive back Michael Thomas is listed as the backup strong safety on the team’s website. Thomas is a veteran special teamer and may be hesitant to remove him from that role. Furthermore, Love, a fourth-round selection in the 2019 draft, recorded an interception in his first extended playing time on the defensive side of the ball.