The Cleveland Browns made a roster move on Monday when they promoted fullback/tight end Brad Smelley from the practice squad to their 53-man roster. To make room for Smelley, the team waived defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron.
Smelley's was the team's seventh-round draft choice in April and attended Alabama along with running back Trent Richardson. According to reports, part of the reason the Browns drafted Smelley back then was because of Richardson's recommendation.
The Browns' starting fullback to begin the year was Owen Marecic, last year's fourth-round pick. For the past several weeks, though, he has been deactivated, presumably due to ineffective play. During that span, the Browns utilized tight end Alex Smith at the fullback position.
I speculated back in early November that the Browns might be looking to bring up Smelley late in the season, since they could do so without wasting a year of his practice squad eligibility. Here's the thing, though: if you're bringing Smelley up, you would seem to think that the team plans on playing him, right? What would be the point of Marecic and Smelley both sitting on the inactive list on gameday?
I'm sure head coach Pat Shurmur will be asked about the promotion of Smelley when he meets with the media on Wednesday. My guess is that he's shown improvement over the season as a practice squad member, and these final three games are a good time to evaluate him for next season. Who knows -- maybe he'll help spring a few extra holes for Richardson.