Browns Workout Veteran Defender After Star CB Sidelined With Injury

Greedy Williams, Browns

Getty Greedy Williams #26 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his interception against the Las Vegas Raiders with teammates during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 20, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

A new injury has opened up a hole in the Cleveland Browns‘ secondary the team is hoping to plug with a veteran free agent.

Scott Petrak of Browns Zone reported on Thursday, September 8, that Cleveland cornerback Greedy Williams was absent from practice one day after putting in only limited work due to a hamstring issue.

“#Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney (illness) back practicing after missing Wednesday,” Petrak tweeted. “CB Greedy Williams (hamstring) not on field during portion open to reporters. Was limited yesterday.”

Browns Host Tryout For Veteran CB Jimmy Moreland on Thursday

Jimmy Moreland

GettyJ.J. Taylor #42 of the New England Patriots controls the ball against Jimmy Moreland #20 of the Washington Football Team in the first half of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 12, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Petrak’s report was followed shortly by news that the Browns brought in veteran defensive back Jimmy Moreland for a workout Thursday, presumably to beef up depth in the secondary assuming Williams is unable to go on Sunday in the season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network cited a league source saying that the Browns had brought Moreland in for a tryout. The cornerback has spent the last three seasons in the NFL, playing the first two as a member of the Washington Commanders and suiting up for the Houston Texans in 2021.

Moreland has appeared in a total of 37 games across his three-year NFL career, starting 10 of those. He has registered 88 tackles, including two tackles for loss, five passes defensed, three quarterback hits, one interception, one forced fumble and half a sack over that span.

Williams’ Injury Most Recent in Long Line of Health Problems

Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome

GettyDefensive backs Denzel Ward (left) and Greg Newsome II (right) of the Cleveland Browns celebrate a play during the team’s offseason workout program at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on June 1, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

If Moreland is added to the roster, he will join a talented defensive backfield that will, nevertheless, miss Williams in his absence.

Williams is technically listed as the backup to cornerback Denzel Ward on the team’s official depth chart, per ESPN, though he is expected to play significant snaps and will be considered first-string anytime the Browns employ nickel or dime defensive packages.

Unfortunately for both the Browns and Williams, his current hamstring issue is just the latest in a string of injury problems to befall the cornerback since he entered the NFL in 2019. The former second-round draft pick started 12 games during his rookie campaign but damaged the axillary nerve in his shoulder while participating in a tackling drill during training camp the following year, causing him to miss the entire 2020 season.

Williams sustained groin injury against the New York Giants during a preseason matchup in August 2021, one month after being sidelined due to heat-related issues during practice.

The injury problems continued this preseason, as Williams missed time in June due to an undisclosed health issue. Then came the news about the cornerback’s hamstring, which kept him out of practice on Thursday.

Williams has been a solid contributor to the Browns defense when healthy. He has appeared in 28 games and earned 20 starts. He’s amassed 88 tackles, including two tackles for loss, 12 passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble over the course of his career, per Pro Football Reference.

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