Browns Sign Former Saints Defensive Tackle Amid Roster Upheaval

Getty Images Defensive tackle Josiah Bronson.

The Cleveland Browns claimed former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Josiah Bronson on Wednesday, adding depth to the position amid roster a bevy of players testing positive for COVID-19.

The Browns have a total of 18 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including starting defensive tackle Malik McDowell and defensive ends Ifeadi Odenigbo and Takkarist McKinley.

Bronson will provide some size in the middle of the defense. He is a 6-3, 300-pound undrafted rookie out of Washington. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints, Bronson has appeared in six games and recorded seven tackles. Other tackles on the Browns roster include Malik Jackson, Sheldon Day and Tommy Togiai.

With the Browns missing so many players, expect more signings to roll in within the coming days to provide depth.

Browns Pushing Through Despite Setbacks

The Browns are not hanging their heads despite being dealt the tough hand, putting faith in their depth as they did last season when they were struck by COVID-19 issues late in the year.

“Obviously, it is not the perfect situation or the ideal situation, but I do believe we have quality depth. I know we dealt with this last year,” Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. “All of the guys, we have meetings and really just got off of meetings, they are all [mentally] positive. We are getting everybody to move forward and so are we. The losses, like I said, they are not ideal – you do not want it to happen – but you have to be able to move on.”

Aside from the issues with players testing positive, the Browns also have multiple key players dealing with injuries. That includes two starters in the secondary in safety Ronnie Harrison and rookie cornerback Greg Newsome.

Newsome suffered a concussion at the end of practice last week in what the team called a “freak” accident.

“It is still day to day [for Newsome]. He is going through the protocol and just trying to see where he is and symptom-free. Do not know if he is going to make it but, it is really day to day,” Woods said.

He gave a more optimistic outlook for Harrison, who is dealing with an ankle injury. He may be asked to start with Grant Delpit with John Johnson also on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

“Fingers crossed. Ronnie actually practiced at the end of last week,” Woods said. “He was moving around. He just did not feel like he was healthy enough to play at the level that he felt like he needed to play.”

Browns Not Pushing for Postponing Game

The Browns have every reason to plead with the league to reschedule their matchup with the Raiders on Saturday, but the team has not gone that route.

“I do not think kind of the ‘quitter’ mentality makes it to the NFL. Obviously, it is challenging to lose people,” Browns veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith told reporters on Wednesday, December 15. “You do not know who, when, where or how it is being transmitted and stuff like that, but we have a lot of guys who love to compete. Obviously, other guys when you get opportunities, there have been guys who have been waiting for opportunities all year long so this is just a great opportunity to show how deep we are as a team and how resilient we can be. We have an awesome chance to go out and play a playoff game, essentially.”

Some key subtractions for the Browns include Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Wyatt Teller and head coach Kevin Stefanski. The original line for the game had the Browns as 6.5-point favorites. That has since shifted, with the Browns now a 1.5-point home underdog.


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