The Browns placed outside linebacker Nate Orchard on IR and signed linebacker Cam Johnson off the Cardinals’ practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Orchard suffered an ankle injury on the final play of the Browns’ overtime loss to the Dolphins in Miami. Due to the new IR rule, he could return this season, But given teams can only reactivate one player from IR, that’s far from certain. He couldn’t come back to practice until mid-November and would be out of any Cleveland games until December.
The second-year player arrived as a second-round draft choice. Orchard, 23, started one game this season for the Browns and played in all three. Orchard’s registered four tackles this season after making 36 as a rookie.
In addition to Orchard’s extensive absence, the Browns look to be without fellow rotational outside ‘backer Corey Lemonier, who is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s tilt in Washington. This leaves Emmanuel Ogbah and fellow rookie Joe Schobert, a fourth-rounder, as the starers for a Browns team that suddenly doesn’t have much depth outside in its 3-4 look.
Despite having resided on Arizona’s taxi squad, the 26-year-old Johnson has four years of NFL experience, seeing action in 15 games. Twelve of those came for the Colts in 2013. Johnson, though, played in one game for the Browns last season, but the former 49ers seventh-rounder has never started a game since entering the league in 2012.
The Cardinals signed Johnson to their practice squad earlier this week, nearly a month after the Browns initially released him out of training camp. Johnson spent most of the 2015 season on Cleveland’s taxi squad.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.