The Cleveland Browns waived defensive end Joe Jackson on Thursday, which could indicate another roster move is coming soon.
Jackson was a rotational piece on the defensive line and contributed on special teams. He registered a sack against the Chiefs in Week 1 but has been fairly complacent since. Jackson played just five defensive snaps against the Vikings last week.
Jackson was with the team during the preseason but was waived during final roster cuts. He was brought back when linebacker Jacob Phillips was placed on injured reserve, opening up a spot. He is a former fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys and played three games with the Browns last season, making five tackles.
The Browns are not carrying an extraordinary amount of depth at defensive end behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. Takkarist McKinley would be the only other end on the 53-man roster.
Ifeadi Odenigbo Could Fill Hole in Rotation for Browns
However, Cleveland recently signed former Vikings pass-rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo, who has been on the practice squad.
Odenigbo started all 15 games he played in last year with Minnesota, notching 3.5 sacks and 35 tackles. He has 32 games of NFL experience. Odenigbo was originally a 2017 seventh-round (220th overall) pick by the Vikings out of Northwestern. His career totals include 59 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Odenigbo also had a previous stint with the Browns — in which he was inactive first three games in 2018 — and Arizona Cardinals (2018) before playing the last two seasons on the Vikings’ active roster (2019-20) and spending this past offseason with the New York Giants.
Having a fourth defensive end on the roster will be essential, with Clowney (elbow) and McKinley (ankle/knee) dealing with injuries. Garrett got a day off this week but it was not injury related.
Middle of Defensive Line Stepping Up for Browns
The pass-rushers might get the publicity for the sacks but the interior of the defensive line has been doing their job, too. Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell have been the primary players there, embracing the violence of the trenches.
“I think we just play like that,” Jackson told reporters on Monday, October 4. “Especially me and Malik, we just go out there and I tell him every time before we step out on the field, ‘It is us. Let’s go out here and do this. We should not even have to have the other two guys. It is just me and him. Let us just go out there and play mean, play hard, get to the ball and take no BS.’”
The interior guys have even earned the respect of Garrett, who doesn’t envy their challenge.
“Those guys are tough in there. I went in there and I was getting hemmed up. I was on top of the guard. The center came down one time. But they have to take them on every play. They don’t mind,” Garrett said. “They just keep doing their job. They do it very well and the best way I can repay them is to do my job on the outside and get pressure on the quarterback. They need one-on-ones just as much as I do. I will do my job to repay them on the inside.”