Browns Sign Second Veteran Defender to Roster in as Many Days

Andrew Berry, Browns

Getty Cleveland Browns co-owner Jimmy Haslam (left) talks with general manager Andrew Berry (right) during an NFL preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles in August 2022.

The Cleveland Browns added another free agent to their defense Tuesday in an effort to shore up problem areas across the roster.

Cleveland on Monday, October 10, traded with the Atlanta Falcons for linebacker Deion Jones. On Tuesday, the team added one of Jones’ former teammates in nose tackle Tyeler Davison.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network broke the news of the signing via Twitter.

“Veteran NT Tyeler Davison is signing with the #Browns practice squad, with an eye towards the 53-man roster soon, per source,” Pelissero wrote. “Davison is a seven-year vet with 90 career starts in New Orleans and Atlanta, where his job was to keep Deion Jones clean. Now they reunite in Cleveland.”

Davison Should Help Solidify Browns’ Interior D-Line

Tyeler Davison, Falcons

GettyNose tackle Tyeler Davison, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, celebrates a tackle during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 7, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Cleveland’s addition of Davison, along with the trade for Jones, are about one thing — shoring up the defense against game-changing plays.

The Los Angeles Charges gouged on the Browns on the ground to the tune of 238 yards on Sunday, after entering the contest with the NFL’s lowest-rated rushing attack. Cleveland also lost a game to the New York Jets in Week 2, in part due to a breakdown in coverage late in the game that led to a 66-yard touchdown pass. The Carolina Panthers nearly stole a victory from the Browns in Week 1 following a 75-yard touchdown strike.

The lapses are particularly discouraging considering the Browns’ level of talent at several key positions. The unit’s perceived under-performance has led to questions about defensive coordinator Joe Woods, summed up in analysis by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Monday.

“Much of the blame has to rest on defensive coordinator Joe Woods. The defense has talented players like Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney,” Knox wrote. “However, Woods can’t seem to get his team to play consistently well against the run or the pass, and his scheme has led to obvious communication problems — suggesting that either the scheme is too complicated or just not good.”

Davison, Jones Bring Experience and Depth to Browns’ Defense

Deion Jones

Getty ImagesNew Cleveland Browns linebacker Deion Jones.

Davison joins an interior defensive line in Cleveland that lacks both depth and experience. While he will begin with the practice squad, the seven-year NFL veteran has a chance to break into the regular rotation quickly.

Currently starting at defensive tackle are Taven Bryan and Jordan Elliott. Bryan has started just 21 games in his career, four of which have come for the Browns this season. A third-year pro, Elliott had made just four starts coming into 2022. Second-year player Tommy Togiai and rookie Perrion Winfrey are listed as the Browns’ second-string defensive tackles.

Davison has tallied 216 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hits, five sacks, four passes defensed and three forced fumbles across 105 total appearances in the NFL.

Jones will support a linebacking unit that lost Anthony Walker Jr. for the season in Week 3 due to a torn quad. Jones is currently relegated to IR after undergoing shoulder surgery during the offseason but is expected to return to action relatively soon, per Mary Kay Cabot of

Jones is poised to start as soon as he is healthy and caught up with the Browns’ defensive scheme, as LB Jacob Phillips has now started two games in place of Walker. Phillips has produced one of the worst ratings at the position in the entire league this season, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 28.8.

Meanwhile, Jones finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2016 and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl the following season. He has amassed 652 tackles, including 40 tackles for loss, 44 passes defensed, 20 quarterback hits, 11 interceptions, 8.5 sacks, five defensive touchdowns and four forced fumbles over the course of his six-year NFL career.

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