The Cleveland Browns waived wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley on Saturday, making room for linebacker Jacob Phillips on the 53-man roster.
Bradley being waived was a bit surprising, considering he was the No. 3 receiver on the Browns roster. Wide receiver Rashard Higgins was a healthy scratch for the Browns last time out, but with Bradley now out of the picture, it appears he’ll be slated for a larger role in the offense.
Bradley hasn’t been much of a factor in the offense, notching four catches over the last two weeks for 54 yards. What kept him on the roster instead of Higgins was his ability to play on special teams.
The Browns also elevated JoJo Natson from the practice squad, adding the speedy return specialist to the 53-man roster.
Natson is 5-7, 153 pounds and in his fifth NFL season out of Akron. He has appeared in 37 career games primarily as a returner and recorded 64 punt returns for 492 yards (7.7 avg.) and 40 kickoffs for 839 yards (21.0 avg.).
Higgins Wasn’t in Game Plan for Browns Previously
Higgins is a fan-favorite and a favorite target of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. However, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said he wasn’t slated to be a part of the game plan against the Ravens for most of the week.
“Just felt like that was the plan going into this week,” Stefanski told reporters after losing to the Ravens. “That changes weekly. There’ are so many things to consider with what our game plan looks like, special teams, etc.”
Higgins has just 15 catches for 185 yards and one touchdown this season. He played on 72 percent of the snaps last week in a 13-10 victory over Detroit but was taking on a starting role with Peoples-Jones out of the lineup.
“The inactives, it is a puzzle that you work on each week based on who you think you need, and special teams factors majorly into that,” Stefanski said.
Browns LB Jacob Phillips Ready to Roll
While the Browns were handed a bunch of bad injury news this week, Phillips should be a big addition after returning from a bicep injury that was thought to be season-ending
“I just love football. I love being around the team. I love the day-in and day-out grind of it all. I showed up to every single meeting.” Phillips said this week. “I studied every week like I was preparing to play because that is what it takes to have teammates around where you can ask them questions. ‘Hey, what do I do on this?’ I will not be prepared to answer those if I am not prepared so every week I prepared, took notes and studied like I was going to be ready to play that week.”
Phillps is a former third-round pick and was expected to be a key reserve on the defensive side of the ball heading into the season. During camp he saw reps both at middle and weakside linebacker, which will be very important this week with Anthony Walker, the team’s leading tackler, out.
The Browns are 2.5-point favorites this week against the Ravens.