Fans who were hoping to see linebacker Scott Fujita make a triumphant return for at least one of the team's final two games will be disappointed to hear that he was placed on the injured reserve, ending his season.
In his first year with the Browns, Fujita was having a career year. Before he was hurt early in Week 10 against the New York Jets, Fujita had registered 51 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles. More importantly, the Browns' run defense seemed pretty stout at the time and were keeping opposing backs out of the end zone.
Since Fujita's absence, the Browns have struggled containing running backs on Jacksonville, Carolina, Buffalo, and Cincinnati. Coincidence? One man isn't entirely responsible for a team's success against the run, but he might have been that veteran presence other players relied on to make sure everybody was in the right spot prior to the ball being snapped. Hopefully he recovers fine from his knee injury and is good-to-go for next season. The team also placed cornerback Eric Wright on the injured reserve.
With two open roster spots, the team signed NT Travis Ivey from their practice squad and LB Steve Octavien, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. It looks like Octavien would contribute only on special teams if active. I know we're facing two big opponents coming up, but it'd still be nice to get a look at DE/LB Jayme Mitchell. It's not like Mitchell is a complete rookie; this is already his fourth year in the league.