Browns Sign Former Giants Quarterback Amid Roster Turmoil

Getty Images The Browns have signed Kyle Lauletta.

The Cleveland Browns have signed quarterback Kyle Lauletta to backup Nick Mullens this week after a rash of positive COVID-19 tests sidelined both Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum.

The move was announced by Lauletta’s agent Mike McCartney via Twitter, who congratulated the quarterback on his new gig. Lauletta was previously on the Jaguars practice squad.

Lauletta was with the Browns in the preseason but didn’t make the finale cut and Cleveland opted to give the practice squad quarterback squad to Mullens — who has been a full-fledged starter in the league previously.

Lauletta looked sharp in his first preseason game, tossing two touchdowns and no interceptions, registering 212 yards on 19-of-27 passing. However, he regressed the rest of the way, tossing a pair of interceptions in his final preseason performance.

The options were extremely limited for the Browns and Lauletta will at least have familiarity with the playbook. Cleveland faces the Raiders on Saturday.

Mullens Brings Starting Experience to the Table

Alex Van Pelt on Case Keenum: "He's a true pro that can win us football games"Alex Van Pelt addresses the media on December 15th, 2021. #BrownsMedia #PressConference2021-12-15T17:50:13Z

The Browns expressed how lucky they were to have Keenum as a backup this week, which is obviously a moot point after he tested positive. However, Mullens is about as good of a third option as you could ask for.

Mullens is in his fourth NFL season out of Southern Mississippi. Originally signed by San Francisco as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Mullens has appeared in 19 career games with 16 starts, completing 387 passes for 4,714 yards with 25 touchdowns. He has spent the 2021 season on the Browns’ practice squad and was active but did not play in the team’s Week 7 game.

“Nick is another guy who has played football in the NFL and has had success,” Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said on Wednesday, December 15. “I know he works hard in the film room and on the side at practice – stays out after practice and gets opportunities with the other guys. If something were to happen and we needed Nick to show up, I have confidence in him, as well. I know he has put the work in, and he has had success in the league, as well.”

Baker Mayfield Not Happy With NFL Over Testing

The Browns are in a tough spot, with more than 20 players and coaches on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That includes head coach Kevin Stefanski, as well as Mayfield and Keenum.

Mayfield was among the first players to test positive this week, while Keenum tested positive on Thursday — after practicing with the team. Mayfield was not happy with how things unfolded and called out the NFL in a series of tweets.

“NFL make up your damn mind on protocols. Showing up and making only 3 teams test?!? All so you can keep the game as scheduled to make money,” Mayfield tweeted. “Actually caring about player safety would mean delaying the game with this continuing at the rate it is…. But to say you won’t test vaccinated players if they don’t have symptoms, then to pull this randomly. Doesn’t make any sense to me.

“Tell me if this makes sense…. No tests this morning… then let our team gather for practice… then show up after practice to test them. Something seems off here.”

The league has put in some new protocols for returning to play but we’ll have to see how everything shakes out the next two days before the Browns clash with the Raiders.

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