Rams Swipe Player From Browns to Take Over Starting Role

Browns general manager Andrew Berry.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry.

The Los Angeles Rams poached kicker Lucas Havrisik from the Cleveland Browns practice squad on Tuesday, signing him to replace veteran Brett Maher.

Maher missed multiple field goals for a third time this season during the Rams’ 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maher hit his field goals at just a 73.9% clip while with the Rams and also missed an extra point, leading to his release.

Havrisik was signed as a backup option for the Browns after trading for veteran kicker Dustin Hopkins and cutting ties with former fourth-round pick Cade York.

Havrisik has never made a kick at the NFL level but the Rams are going to give him a shot. At the University of Arizona, Havrisik made 34 of 53 field goal attempts and 73 of 78 extra point attempts across five seasons at Arizona. He made a name for himself with his leg, booting five 50-plus yard field goals while with the Wildcats.

The Browns filled a practice squad spot with running back Jordan Wilkins but could have more shuffling in the coming days. PJ Walker is the primary backup QB to Deshaun Watson but has already been elevated from the practice squad three times. If he’s going to continue assuming that role, he’ll have to be signed to the active roster.

Dustin Hopkins Making History With the Browns

The Browns made the tough decision to part ways with York this offseason, trading for Hopkins to replace him. Hopkins has been an outstanding pickup, going 16-of-18 on his field goal attempts and making history along the way.

With a pair of 54-yard field goals against the Colts, Hopkins became the first kicker to ever convert 50-plus-yard kicks in five consecutive games.

“Dustin he’s just kicking at a high level. I mean, the guy prepares well, fits this team, really fits in with this team really well,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. “We have a lot of trust in him. We don’t want to be kicking too often from 50-plus yards, but the guy just continues to come through for his football team.”

Browns Have Multiple Injury Concerns

The Browns moved to 4-2 with a victory against the Colts and have been able to do so despite some very significant injuries. The most significant is to Watson, who is dealing with a “strain of the subscapularis within the rotator cuff and he continues to have both pain and weakness with movement,” per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Watson missed a pair of games with the injury but tried to give it a go against the Colts. He was shaky, going just 1-of-5 for five yards, also tossing an interception. Watson exitied after taking a hard hit in the first quarter and his status for Sunday’s Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks is uncertain.

Browns running back Jerome Ford will also be sidelined by an injury. Cleveland’s starting running back hurt his ankle and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks. Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong Jr. are expected to pick up the slack.

Browns star running back Nick Chubb and starting right guard Jack Conklin have also been lost for the year.

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