Browns Place Joel Bitonio On IR

The Browns absorbed another blow in a grueling season, placing starting left guard Joel Bitonio on injured reserve, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter).

In a corresponding roster move, the team claimed second-year center Gabe Ikard after the Bills cut him.

A 2014 second-round pick, Bitonio attempted to make a return from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the Browns’ previous two games but couldn’t make it past the first quarter before leaving the game. First-rounder Cameron Erving replaced him but was quickly benched in favor of UDFA Austin Pasztor.

The 24-year-old Bitonio started the first 26 games of his career. Pro Football Focus rated the former Nevada lineman as its 33rd-best guard this season after he enjoyed a standout rookie campaign.

Bitonio remains a critical part of the Browns’ future, with Pro Bowl center Alex Mack able to opt out of his Jaguars-created contract at the end of this season.


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3 comments on “Browns Place Joel Bitonio On IR

  1. I’m really not sure how much the loss of Joey will matter. This franchise seems to be in another perpetual downward spiral. I cannot fathom why they are such poor evaluators of talent. Another top pick in the draft is meaningless, since they never get it right.

  2. Sam Robinson

    Thus far, Bitonio seems to be the best of the Browns’ five picks from Rounds 1-2 the past two seasons. It probably won’t matter much this season, with wins serving as detriments to Cleveland’s chances of getting the No. 1 overall pick since 2000. But he’ll play a key role for them long-term.

  3. Snorgator

    Probably the reason why he had struggled this year compared to last. Finally a good player the Browns drafted, should have a bright future with the team.

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