The Cleveland Browns are running exceedingly thin at defensive back, with safety Eric Murray undergoing knee surgery on Friday.
Murray suffered the injury in Wednesday’s practice. He posted a photo on his Instagram from the hospital bed prior to the team officially announcing the surgery.
The Browns have not ruled out Murray for the rest of the season and his status will be evaluated week-by-week. Murray had arthroscopic knee surgery, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Murray played in 50 of the defense’s 69 snaps (72 percent) in Sunday’s 27-13 loss and has played in over 65 percent of the snaps this season overall.
On other moves, defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale was placed on injured reserve with a calf injury. Tight end Pharaoh Brown (concussion) also won’t be available, which led to the team signing tight end Stephen Carlson to the active roster from the practice squad.
Carlson is an undrafted rookie free agent from Princeton, where he recorded 125 receptions for 1,632 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Damarious Randall Ruled Out Against Broncos
Starting safety Damarious Randall is also among those who have been ruled out for the game against the Broncos. His absence will be felt, as he is solid in coverage and isn’t scared to join the fray, collecting 20 tackles, two sacks and three passes defended this season. Unfortunately, he has not been on the field as much as he would like so far, especially in a contract year. Earlier this season, Randall missed two games with a concussion — something he disputed.
Against New England, the Browns deployed a mix of Jermaine Whitehead, Morgan Burnett and Juston Burris to compensate for the loss of Randall.
“I think Jermaine has done a good job of making sure everyone is on the same page,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters last week. “He is kind of the quarterback back there and he has played well, defended the ball well, and tackled well. I have a lot of confidence in Jermaine.”
Another bonus for the Browns is that Brandon Allen — who hasn’t seen a regular season NFL snap in his career — will start for the Broncos. Veteran QB Joe Flacco was put on IR on Friday. That being said, the Browns are not taking the situation lightly, especially at 2-5 and in desperate need of a win.
“He has never taken an NFL snap, but he is in the league for a reason,” defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said of Allen. “Treat them all the same. Execute the game plan.”
Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Cleared to Play Against Broncos
Despite being limited in practice this week, both Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are cleared to play on Sunday against the Broncos.
After spending the first part of the season on the report with a hip injury, the groin issue popped up for Beckham last week. However, he appeared to play without a problem against the Patriots, despite managing just 5 catches for 52 yards.
Landry appeared to injure his shoulder against New England, but did bounce back and returned to the game. Landry has not missed a game in his career.
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