In desperate need of depth on the offensive line following a flurry of injuries and positive COVID-19 tests, the Cleveland Browns signed journeyman offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano to the active roster.
Fabiano attended Harvard and is 6-4, 300 pounds. The Browns announced the transaction through a release on Wednesday.
He’s already well-traveled in the league and is familiar with the Browns organization. Fabiano originally signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2016, he has appeared in nine career games with two starts.
This marks Fabiano’s third stint with the Browns. He spent his rookie season as a member of the Browns’ practice squad before being elevated to the team’s active roster for its final four games. He re-joined the team via waivers during the offseason in 2018.
Last year, he spent time on the Eagles’ and Buccaneers’ practices squads. Most recently, Fabiano was on the Packers practice squad. He was waived on Dec. 22.
Browns Thin Up Front Heading Into Postseason
The Browns offensive line was the top-ranked run and pass blocking unit in the league this season, per Pro Football Focus.
— PFF (@PFF) January 6, 2021
However, the Browns are thin when it comes to depth with Pro Bowl starter Joel Bitonio testing positive for COVID-19 this week. The most likely replacements for Bitonio — Chris Hubbard and Nick Harris — are both on injured reserve. Starters Jack Conklin, JC Tretter and Wyatt Teller all landed on the most recent injury report as limited participants. The Browns are also down veteran offensive line coach Bill Calahan, who has also tested positive for COVID-19.
The Browns worked virtually on Wednesday but will weigh their options for game day in the coming days.
“We are going to work through it,” said Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who is coming remotely during the practice week after testing positive for COVID-19. “We have some options there, but we are going to work through it. Obviously, I want to get on the practice field first.”
Browns Activate Linebacker BJ Goodson
In a separate roster move, the Browns activated starting linebacker BJ Goodson from the Reserve/COVID list. Goodson started the first 14 games of the season for Cleveland, but missed the last two due to a positive test.
#Browns activate LB B.J. Goodson from COVID list, sign C Anthony Fabiano, activate S Elijah Benton from practice squad0/COVID list.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) January 6, 2021
Goodson’s sure-tackling will be a welcomed addition for the playoffs. He has 91 tackles, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and a half-sack on the year. Despite missing two games, he still leads the team in tackles by nearly 20.
Bitonio, tight end Harrison Bryant, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and Denzel Ward, safety Andrew Sendejo and linebacker Malcolm Smith remain on the COVID-19 list.
“Really with everything going on COVID-related, we are working through the protocols and are just going to make sure that we stay in communication with the league, continue to keep everybody safe and also find a way to go get a win this weekend,” Stefanski told reporters on Wednesday. “We are full speed ahead. We have an opponent that we know well, and they know us well. Just have to put a plan together, and again, go find a way to get a win.”