The Cleveland Browns have lost tight end Stephen Carlson for the season after he suffered a knee injury during the team’s 23-13 preseason victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.
The team was awaiting an MRI after his early exit from the game but it is the worst-case situation for the 24-year-old tight end, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Carlson was having a strong training camp and likely would have made the 53-man roster as the team’s fourth tight end, behind David Njoku, Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant.
Carlson has played in 25 games as a pro, all with the Browns. He has notched just six catches for 62 yards in his career but was also an asset blocking at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds.
Connor Davis, Jordan Frank Next Up On Depth Chart
With the top three tight ends locked in, the Browns will look to either Jordan Franks
or Connor Davis to fill Carlson’s spot on the depth chart.
Davis played his college ball at Stony Brook, and has spent time in the AAF with the Birmingham Iron followed by a stint in the XFL with St. Louis Battlehawks. He spent Weeks 11-17 on the Jets’ practice squad in 2020.
Davis isn’t much of a pass-catcher but could play a role as a blocker if he ends up making the final roster. He caught just six passes at Stony Brook, playing some of his reps at offensive tackle.
Franks has bounced around the NFL and has played just six NFL games since going undrafted in 2018. He suited up for the Bengals in 2018, catching two balls for 37 yards.
Browns Dealing With Injury Bug
Carlson is just the latest bad news for the Browns. Multiple key players are dealing with injuries, including linebacker Mack Wilson, who also exited Saturday’s game. Wilson, who is penciled in as the starter at weakside linebacker, is dealing with a shoulder injury. The team is awaiting the results of his MRI.
Other players out with injury include defensive end Myles Garrett, safeties Ronnie Harrison and Grant Delpit, and wide receiver Anthony Schwartz. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is confident the team will be getting closer to full strength in the week to come.
“A lot of those guys are really close and I’m optimistic about it, but I want to get to Tuesday to see exactly where everybody is, use today and tomorrow as part of that rehab,” Stefanski told reporters on Sunday. “But I’m optimistic that we’ll get some guys back.”
As for on the field play, one standout Stefanski was pleased with was rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
“He did make splash plays,” Stefanski said of the team’s second-round pick. “He made good tackles along the sideline, made a nice play on that screen. He needs to clean up his eye progression and he understands that and the coaches are working very hard. To really play fast in this league, it’s when you’re not thinking, and I think he’s getting there. With a lot of work, I think he’ll get there. But overall, he understands that there’s plenty of work to be done.”