Browns Place Ex-Steelers Receiver on Injured Reserve

Ryan Switzer

Jason Miller/Getty Images Wide receiver Ryan Switzer of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during the first day of Cleveland Browns Training Camp on July 28, 2021.

On Monday, the Cleveland Browns placed former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer on injured reserve, one of five moves the team made to reduce its roster to 85 players.

The Browns say that Switzer has a foot injury, though he did play in Cleveland’s 23-13 preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Saturday. In fact, he caught two passes for 11 yards during the game, including a seven-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kyle Lauletta in the fourth quarter, one that gave the Browns a 23-6 lead.

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‘The Next Edelman?’

The last 12 months have been a real challenge for the 26-year-old Switzer, both on and off the field. In late July of 2020, he boasted that he was poised to become “the next [Julian] Edelman,” or if not that, the next Wes Welker, Jamison Crowder or Cole Beasley. He was widely mocked on social media for making that bold statement, with some observers pointing out that he needed to make Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster first.

Those critics proved prophetic, because despite looking sharp in last year’s training camp, the Steelers released him in favor of wide receiver/kick returner Ray-Ray McCloud. A month later, he got a tryout with Cleveland, which went on to sign him to its practice squad.

In January, Switzer got another chance to resume his quest to achieve Edelman-like status, signing a one-year Reserve/Future contract with the Browns. But he was fourth on the team’s depth chart when he was placed on injured reserve, suggesting that he was on course to be a practice squad player again in 2021—if that.

Switzer’s Infant Son Battled a Mysterious Medical Condition

It’s been a very difficult year for Switzer off-the-field as well. In early March, he revealed that his infant son had tested positive for COVID-19 and was also battling a mysterious bleeding condition. His son’s condition proved so difficult to diagnose that the Switzer family traveled from Cleveland to Boston, where surgeons were able to identify the cause of the problem and perform surgery. At the end of the month, Switzer reported that the surgery had been successful and that his son was expected to make “a complete recovery.”

As for Switzer’s health, there has been no indication yet as to the nature or severity of his current foot injury. But it’s perhaps worth noting that he suffered a foot injury last summer, not long before being waived by the Steelers.

Steelers Announce New Mask Policy

In other news from Monday, the Steelers announced that regardless of vaccination status, all guests, staff and vendors at Heinz Field will be required to wear a mask in all indoor areas of the stadium for this Saturday’s home preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

The team also announced that its Tuesday and Wednesday practices at Heinz Field will now begin at 1:30 p.m. Those practices are open to the public.

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