Browns Sign Former Vikings Wide Receiver

Getty Images Alexander Hollins signed with the Browns on Monday.

The Cleveland Browns added to their wide receiver depth on Monday, signing former Minnesota Vikings pass-catcher Alexander Hollins.

The team announced the transaction on Monday, a move likely in response to the mess that happened over the weekend with the squad’s top-four wide receivers missing the game because of COVID-19 protocols.

Hollins is 6-0, 166 pounds and in his first NFL season out of Eastern Illinois. Hollins was an undrafted free agent and spent the majority of his season on the practice squad before playing in the final five games — one start — last season. He posted two receptions, both for first downs, and 46 receiving yards on the year. This season, Hollins has spent every week on the Vikings’ practice squad.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spent last season as the Vikings offensive coordinator, so he likely has a good read on what Hollins can bring to the table.

Browns Played Shorthanded at WR Against Jets

Getty ImagesBaker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns ended up starting Marvin Hall, Ja’Marcus Bradley and Derrick Willies against the Jets this week with Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge all out as high-risk close contacts of the team’s positive test, linebacker BJ Goodson. Baker Mayfield completed 28 passes in the loss to the Jets, but just six of those were to wide receivers — five to Bradley and one to Hall.

Despite being shorthanded offensively, the Browns made no excuses after the tough loss to the previously one-win Jets, which kept Cleveland from locking up its first playoff berth since 2002.

“We had plenty of active [players]. We trust the guys who were playing today. We trust them. That is why they are Cleveland Browns,” Stefanski told reporters. “That is really not the story here. We just did not do enough. Better way put it, we did too many things that a losing team does, and that is what you get when you do that.”

There’s some uncertainty on when the players on the reserve/COVID-19 will be back and available, so having Hollins as an insurance policy doesn’t hurt.

“These one-game seasons, it is whoever is available to you. That is how you put the plan together and go. We will work hard to makes sure, again, that we are following all of the protocols to a T.”

Browns Face Win-And-In Situation Against Steelers

The Browns postseason hopes this week come down to a win-and-in situation against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that has already clinched the AFC North and a playoff spot.

The Browns could get in with a loss, but would need the Jaguars — the worst team in the NFL — to beat the Colts. The New York Times playoff predictor gives the Browns a 60 percent chance to make the playoffs.

With nothing on the line in the final week of the season, the Steelers have been mum on if most of their starters will play against the Browns.

“We’ll ponder those possibilities (Monday),” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

Cleveland is currently listed as a 6.5-favorite for their season finale against Pittsburgh, per Odds Shark.

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