Browns Sign Former Pro Bowler as Short-Notice Fill In

Getty Images Punter Dustin Colquitt.

The Cleveland Browns have solved their punter conundrum, bringing in recently released veteran Dustin Colquitt to stand in this weekend against the Ravens.

He’s the brother of Britton Colquitt, who punted for the Browns from 2016-18. More importantly, the 39-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the table, with a pair of Pro Bowl appearances and a Super Bowl to his name. Colquitt became available this week when he was released by the Falcons. He punted 23 times in six games for a career-high 47.7 average while in Atlanta.

Colquitt is taking the place of Jamie Gillan, who was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week. On Friday the Browns officially ruled out Gillan, tight end David Njoku and linebacker Anthony Walker — all of who tested positive for the virus. They would have needed two negative tests 24 hours to be activated.


Colquitt Also to Hold for the Browns on Kicks


Mike Priefer: "Every opportunity I get to coach these guys and to make them better, that's my job"Mike Priefer addresses the media on December 9th, 2021. #BrownsMedia #PressConference2021-12-09T19:35:39Z

An extra factor in the signing was the punter having the ability to hold, as Gillan has this season for the Browns. Colquitt will do so on Sunday for kicker Chase McLaughlin and will put in some expedited work over the next two days to establish a relationship.

Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer expressed concern about the holding aspect while speaking to the media on Thursday, December 10.

“That’s always an issue,” Priefer said. “That’s why we work so hard on it. We have our punter on the low JUGs (ball-firing machine) every single day – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – during the week and all through training camp. The timing is important and the handling bad snaps in cold weather or windy weather. You are hoping whoever we sign has that experience in maybe some cold, windy weather, as well. You never know.”

It’ll be interesting to see if the Browns decide to keep Colquitt around for an extended stay if he plays well. Gillan has struggled this year and averaged just 43.5 yards on his six punts against the Ravens last time out. Priefer previously worked with Colquitt in Kansas City, which adds another wrinkle to the relationship.

“I’ll be ready for Sunday,” Colquitt said about his possible long-term future in Cleveland. “It is just one of those things where that is everybody in this building really. I woke up this morning, prayed and was thankful to have another opportunity to come out here punt, which my dad did and kind of showed me and my brother how to do it. Obviously, Britton played here for a few years so I am going to be talking to him and I texted with Phil Dawson yesterday. I will be talking to him for sure. He did it here for a long time – I think 14 years here. I got to be over in Hawaii with him in 2013 and hold for him and pick his brain. It is just another opportunity to be ready for this Sunday and focus one game at a time and one punt at a time.”


LB Jacob Phillips Would be Big Addition for Browns

Getty ImagesBrowns LB Jacob Phillips.

The Browns designated linebacker Jacob Phillips for a return this week following a bicep injury but there’s still a question on whether he would play or not against the Ravens.

“I do not know. It is up the coaches,” Phillips told reporters on Friday. “It is their decision. I know they want to take it slow and wanted to see me in practice, get back-to-back days and see how my body felt after those days. They do not want to rush it because I came back earlier than assumed.”

With Walker out, some extra depth would be welcomed. Phillips took reps at middle and weakside linebacker before his injury.

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