Jerome Ford

Latest On Browns’ Deshaun Watson

OCTOBER 29: Watson is still expected to avoid an IR stint, per Schefter and Dianna Russini of The Athletic. A source tells Schefter that Watson is unlikely to be sidelined for more than two weeks, while Russini hears that Watson is “day-to-day.”

OCTOBER 25: The Browns will push back Watson’s second comeback attempt, with Kevin Stefanski ruling him out for Sunday’s Seahawks matchup. Walker, whom the Browns signed to their active roster today, will make another start. Stefanski confirmed (via’s Andrew Siciliano) Watson has residual swelling after leaving Week 7 early but reiterated the latest MRI showed no additional structural damage.

Also, in addition to the practice squad acquisition of Jordan Wilkins yesterday, Cleveland enlisted further reinforcements at running back today, signing Nate McCrary to the practice squad, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. With Chubb on IR and Ford doubtful for Sunday, McCrary will compete with Wilkins for a potential opportunity to be elevated and play behind Hunt and Strong in Seattle this weekend.

OCTOBER 24: Deshaun Watson‘s return to action did not last long. The high-priced quarterback left the Browns’ Week 7 game after 12 snaps. While Watson is cleared to play, he continues to experience shoulder pain.

A Tuesday MRI did not reveal any additional injuries coming out of Cleveland’s high-scoring win in Indianapolis, per’s Tom Pelissero. Watson confirmed he is dealing with a strained rotator cuff last week, and’s Mary Kay Cabot adds the seventh-year QB battling is an injury in the subscapularis muscle, the largest in the rotator cuff.

Watson continues to deal with movement limitations, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who adds this particular injury can shelve pitchers for between four and six weeks. Doctors have informed Watson this is typically a four- to six-week injury. Watson sustained the injury against the Titans in Week 3 and missed Week 4 after a Saturday MRI revealed the extent of the malady. After Cleveland’s bye week, Watson rested again. Despite returning to practice last week, Watson remains far from 100%.

Sunday’s Seahawks matchup will mark five weeks from the initial injury, though it is unclear how much Watson set his recovery back by returning to face the Colts. The Browns have not decided on a course of action with their $230MM quarterback.

Watson, of course, enjoys unrivaled security due to his fully guaranteed contract. Rushing back would make little sense through that lens. A collision with Colts defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo led Watson out of the Browns’ Week 7 matchup, with Cabot adding the QB’s velocity was down due to this injury affecting his shoulder rotation. The 2022 trade acquisition entering concussion protocol came about because of the independent neurologist; he was cleared of a head injury soon after. But this shoulder problem persists.

If Watson cannot go, the Browns would again turn to P.J. Walker, whom they bumped ahead of Week 1 backup Dorian Thompson-Robinson earlier this month. It is fairly clear this issue will linger for the foreseeable future, which could lead to more Watson absences for the 4-2 team. For Walker to play in Week 8, the Browns must sign him to the 53-man roster. The ex-Panthers backup has made the rare transition from gameday elevation to to QB1, but the team has used up his three allotted elevations this season.

Additionally, the Browns are expected to be without running back Jerome Ford for a bit. The initial Nick Chubb replacement suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday, per Schefter, who classifies this as a “low grade” sprain that is likely to sideline the second-year back a week or two. The Browns signed Kareem Hunt in the wake of Chubb’s knee injury, and they acquired Pierre Strong from the Patriots before the season. Hunt logged 10 carries (for 31 yards) last week; Strong totaled eight (for 25).

Browns “Pleased” With Current RB Group

The Browns have made a handful of moves to account for Nick Chubb‘s season-ending injury, but that hasn’t stopped the organization from being mentioned as a potential suitor for any RBs who have been or could be made available. When asked specifically if the Browns would consider making a move for disgruntled Colts star Jonathan Taylor, GM Andrew Berry hinted that he’s content with his current running back corps.

“Because of the tampering rules, I know I can’t touch on specific players,” Berry said yesterday (h/t Scott Petrak of The Chronicle-Telegram). “We’re always active seekers, participants in the trade market, but I would say we’re pleased with the running back room.”

Jerome Ford topped 100 yards while filling in for an injured Chubb in Week 2, but since he’s entered the starting lineup, he’s put up two lackluster performances. Between the two games, Ford has been limited to 96 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches, although he did find the end zone twice in Week 3.

The team re-signed Kareem Hunt once Chubb went down, and the veteran has garnered the second-most snaps at the position for Cleveland over the past two weeks. However, the veteran RB has also struggled with a 3.9-yards-per-touch mark. Of course, Hunt could also still be finding his groove after waiting until the regular season to sign a deal.

Third-stringer Pierre Strong has put up the best numbers of the bunch, with the second-year pro averaging 5.9 yards on his 13 touches. The former Patriots fourth-round pick has served as the clear RB3 behind Ford and Hunt, and his upside could be a reason why the Browns aren’t in any rush to add reinforcement at the position.

Besides signing Hunt, the Browns also added one of Taylor’s former teammates to the practice squad. Deon Jackson started Week 1 for the Colts but was limited to only 14 rushing yards on 13 attempts. The former UDFA looked serviceable in 2022, finishing with 445 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. For the time being, he’s sitting fourth in the pecking order in Cleveland.

As Berry indicated, the Browns wouldn’t shy away from a no-brainer trade, and plenty could change between now and the October 31 trade deadline. For the time being, it sounds like the Browns will be sticking with their current running backs grouping.

RB Jerome Ford To Start In Cleveland Over Kareem Hunt

The Browns had operated with a one-two punch at running back for the past few years in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and, after Chubb’s season-ending knee injury, the two will share a position room, once again. Cleveland brought Hunt back into the fold after a six-month stay on the free agent market, hoping that he can assist the team in replacing some of Chubb’s lost production. That being said, head coach Kevin Stefanski is adamant that second-year back Jerome Ford will be the Browns’ starter moving forward, according to Mary Kay Cabot of

Ford, a fifth-round pick last year out of Cincinnati, surpassed his rookie year yardage total in the first game of his sophomore season, showcasing his increased role in Hunt’s absence. When Chubb went down midway through the team’s loss to the Steelers last week, Stefanski and company turned to Ford. Ford delivered, utilizing a 69-yard rush late in the game to avoid an otherwise pedestrian performance and ending up with 106 rushing yards in the loss. Pierre Strong, drafted a round before Ford last year by the Patriots, took RB2 duties but only had two touches.

“Jerome is the lead back,” Stefanski told reporters yesterday, “but we have to work through all of those types of things and what Kareem’s ready to do this week if he’s ready to go this week, and what type of load he can carry and Pierre Strong’s role. So, I think we need to work through all of that, but yes, Jerome is the starter.”

Stefanski later informed reporters that Hunt will be available to play this Sunday, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, meaning the team intends to figure out how much Hunt can handle this weekend. While the team reportedly explored other running back options like then-Rams rusher Cam Akers, Hunt’s familiarity with Cleveland and his ability to work his way back into the offense fairly easily was a major factor in his signing.

A source had told Cabot that Hunt is down 10 pounds from his playing weight in 2022. His apparent loss of explosiveness last year was one of the reasons the Browns allowed him to walk, so perhaps he’s leaned up in an effort to gain back another step.

While his familiarity allowed him to slip back into the Browns’ offense, Hunt still has some things to learn before he becomes a regular contributor once again. He may end up eventually taking a lead role in the team’s offense if he can outperform Ford, but for now, he’ll fall back into the RB2 role he held behind Chubb for the past four years.

NFL Injury Updates: McGlinchey, Browns, Shaheed, Byrd

The Broncos endured a scare yesterday when new offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey was rolled up on in camp. According to Mike Klis of 9NEWS, it sounds like they avoided disaster as their starting right tackle only suffered a sprained knee.

Denver brought on McGlinchey, who was one of this offseason’s most prized free agents, at the open of free agency, shortly after also signing former Ravens guard Ben Powers. It showed how serious the team was about bulking up their offensive line to protect a veteran quarterback in Russell Wilson, who struggled last year in a new system.

Luckily, it sounds like McGlinchey avoided serious injury. This shouldn’t end up anything like the torn quadriceps injury that cut his 2021 season short. Klis claims that McGlinchey should only miss two to three weeks. He’ll have to take it easy for the entire preseason, but he should be ready to make his Broncos debut in the team’s season opener against the Raiders.

In the team’s first released depth chart of the season, veteran swing tackle Cameron Fleming is listed as McGlinchey’s primary backup. He should get a good run over the next few weeks in case McGlinchey’s recovery leaks into the regular season.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the league:

  • The Browns also experienced a couple of minor scares when two second-year defensive ends went down with “significant knee injuries,” according to Mary Kay Cabot of Both Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas suffered injuries this week that had head coach Kevin Stefanski thinking they would each “miss an extended period of time.” Luckily, ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided an update today that, after undergoing arthroscopic surgery, both players are expected to return “early in the season.” Although Wright started five games last year, both players are considered rotational backups. The position’s depth takes a hit, but the stars are still there.
  • Cleveland is down another second-year player in running back Jerome Ford, who is reportedly “week-to-week” with a hip injury, according to Browns staff writer Anthony Polsal. Although Ford’s main contribution as a rookie came returning kickoffs, he’s been expected to take the next step at running back this year with the departure of Kareem Hunt. He had been “receiving a considerable amount of reps” in camp before limping off the practice field on Monday. The team will turn to Demetric Felton, John Kelly, and undrafted rookie Hassan Hall in Ford’s absence, but they believe there’s a chance Ford could be back by Week 1.
  • Saints second-year wide receiver Rashid Shaheed missed another practice today, according to NOF Network. The surprise rookie contributor from last year has been missing a bit of time through camp with a groin injury. The report claims that, while Shaheed is expected to miss a few weeks, he should be ready to go for the team’s regular season opener.
  • The Panthers depth at wide receiver took a hit yesterday as veteran Damiere Byrd suffered “a significant hamstring injury,” according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. New head coach Frank Reich says that Byrd could need surgery. If so, it’s expected that the wideout would “miss at least eight weeks.” The new-look top-end remains the same with free agent additions Adam Thielen and DJ Chark and second-round rookie Jonathan Mingo. Behind them, Carolina still sports a strong backup group including Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault, Shi Smith, and others.

Browns Not Expected To Re-Sign Kareem Hunt; Team Eyeing Larger Role For RB Jerome Ford

The Browns upgraded their receiver room earlier in the offseason with the trade acquisition of Elijah Moore, but the team has yet to make any moves in the backfield. That has left Kareem Hunt on the open market with an uncertain future, but one which appears poised to lead him out of Cleveland.

The veteran back has not received any interest from potential suitors, as noted by Terry Pluto of That comes as little surprise in one sense, given the buyer’s market which existed this year in free agency at the running back position even after the usage of three franchise tags. As a result, few notable contracts have been signed and a number of accomplished players will likely need to wait until after the draft to catch on to a new team.

Part of Cleveland’s lack of a new contract offer for Hunt, Pluto notes, was the team’s evaluation that he had slowed during the 2022 campaign. The 27-year-old averaged a career-worst 3.8 yards per attempt on 123 carries last season, which gives credence to that conclusion and the decision by other teams to look elsewhere. Hunt did record 210 yards and one touchdown in the passing game, however, which could given him two-way value in his next NFL home.

The former Chiefs draftee requested a trade last offseason in advance of a campaign spent as Nick Chubb‘s backup while trying to generate free agent value. It appeared likely, in the days leading up to the deadline, that the Browns would be able to deal him to a contender, but they ultimately retained him. Now, both player and club are poised to move in different directions.

Pluto writes that the Browns’ preference is to give the No. 2 RB job to Jerome Ford. The 2022 fifth-rounder received only eight carries on offense as a rookie, but he operated as the team’s primary kick returner. Ford totaled 723 yards on 30 returns, good for an average of 24.1 yards per runback. That could translate into effective production as a pass-catching backup to Chubb, though carries could be available as well for Ford in 2023. The Browns lost former third-stringer D’Ernest Johnson to the Jaguars in free agency, leaving a vacancy which would be made more notable in the event Hunt were to indeed head elsewhere.

Browns Activate RB Jerome Ford, Waive DE Isaac Rochell

The Browns did a bit of roster shuffling this morning. The team announced that they’ve activated running back Jerome Ford from injured reserve, signed defensive tackle Roderick Perry II from the practice squad to the active roster, and promoted linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. and tight end Miller Forristall from the practice squad. The Browns also waived defensive end Isaac Rochell.

Ford is the most notable name on the list, with the rookie fifth-round pick having previously served as Cleveland’s primary returner before suffering an ankle injury in Week 4. That injury ended up landing him on injured reserve and knocking him out for more than a month.

In his four games, the rookie returned six kickoffs for 145 yards, and his 24.2-yard average is still top-10 among those with at least five returns. With Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and D’Ernest Johnson standing in his way, there’s little chance the rookie RB gets a whole lot of run on offense.

Rochelle, a former seventh-round pick, got into 51 games with the Chargers between 2017 and 2020. After appearing in 12 games for the Colts in 2021, the defensive lineman joined Cleveland this offseason. He landed on the practice squad after the preseason but eventually earned his way on to the active roster, collecting 12 tackles in six games (one start).

Carter had 88 tackles for the Panthers last season, but he’s had issues holding a job in 2022. After getting cut by the Chiefs at the end of the preseason, the linebacker caught on with Cleveland’s practice squad back in September. Forristall has seen time in five games for the Browns over the past two seasons, with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams. Perry is an undrafted rookie out of Illinois.

Browns Designate DE Chase Winovich, RB Jerome Ford To Return From IR

The Browns moved closer to having a pair of players return to the fold coming off of their bye week. The team announced on Monday that edge rusher Chase Winovich and running back Jerome Ford have been designated to return from IR.

That opens up a three-week return window for both players. If they fail to be activated within that timeframe, they will remain sidelined for the rest of the season. Cleveland currently has six activations remaining for the year, with tight end Jesse James also a candidate to return.

The latter, along with Winovich, went on IR following Week 2. That guaranteed a four-week absence, but Winovich’s hamstring injury has cost him the past six games. That stalled what could have been the beginning of a rotational role emerging for the former third-rounder who struggled to lock down a starting gig during his three seasons with the Patriots.

That led to an offseason trade sending him to Cleveland in exchange for linebacker Mack Wilson. Winovich, 27, entered the league with plenty of fanfare as a disruptive force after his time at Michigan, and began his NFL career with consecutive 5.5-sack seasons. He was held without one last season, however, leading to the change of scenery. A pending free agent, Winovich will slide in behind Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney on the depth chart upon his return.

Ford, meanwhile, had played exclusively on special teams for the first four weeks of the season before being sidelined. With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt ahead of him in the pecking order, the fifth-round rookie operated as the team’s kick returner prior to the injury. Hunt was the subject of plenty of trade talk, but it came out during last week’s deadline that the Browns preferred to keep him, and they ultimately did. Ford will therefore continue with a third phase role upon his return.

Winovich and Ford could be activated as early as this week, making them available for Cleveland’s game this Sunday against the 6-3 Dolphins.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/4/22

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Designated for return from IR: WR Calvin Austin

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Cine has now undergone two surgeries in London to repair his leg fracture. The first-round pick underwent a preparatory procedure before his Tuesday operation to repair the compound fracture he sustained. The Georgia product will stay in England for the time being, with Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press noting (via Twitter) doctors want to ensure no infections develop. Cine could travel back to Minnesota as soon as this weekend.

Following Latavius Murray off the Saints’ practice squad this week, Wilson did not see any action for the team this season. The former multiyear Vikings starter signed a one-year, $2.75MM Eagles deal in 2021, but Philadelphia bailed on that contract during the season. Wilson, 28, finished last season with the Texans. In his lone full season as a Vikings starter (2020), Wilson made 122 tackles, registered three sacks and intercepted three passes.

Addison signed with the Texans shortly after the draft, joining fellow ex-Bills edge rusher Jerry Hughes in joining the rebuilding team on a two-year deal. The Texans placed Addison on IR with a groin injury; he is eligible to be activated to the 53-man roster this week. Teams can make eight activations from their injured lists — be it IR, PUP or NFI — this season.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/22

Thursday has featured several rookie deals finalized. Here are the mid- and late-round draftees to sign their four-year contracts today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • WR Montrell Washington (fifth round, Samford)

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • RB Snoop Conner (fifth round, Ole Miss)
  • CB Gregory Junior (sixth round, Ouachita Baptist)
  • CB Montaric Brown (seventh round, Arkansas)

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans