The Cleveland Browns are quickly approaching their second preseason game, and guess which position seems to have the most issues when it comes to depth? It isn't the defensive line, it's not at wide receiver, and I'd even go as far as saying it doesn't include the linebackers. The position with the biggest depth problems appears to be at safety.
Just think -- a couple of days ago, our first-team defense in practice was Mike Adams and Ray Ventrone. Eeek! Granted, that was only because T.J. Ward was at the dentist, but are we really one step away from putting Ventrone into the starting lineup? It won't matter that Joe Haden is on the field -- opponents would just go right after Ventrone every play.
[UPDATE: On cue, safety T.J. Ward had to leave practice early on Wednesday with a tight hamstring.]
The depth issues at safety were created thanks to the team's two new additions, Usama Young [projected starter] and Eric Hagg [late-round draft pick] suffering injuries. Both of them will probably return before the start of the regular season, but they will have missed out on some valuable training camp time.
A couple of days ago, the team did sign safety Brett Johnson off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent last year and spent time briefly with the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Rams. There's your Dick Jauron and Pat Shurmur connection. It's hard to say whether Johnson has a fair chance at making the roster, but if Young and Hagg remain out, I wouldn't be surprised to see him receive some serious playing time against the Detroit Lions.
Later today, I'll have the second edition of my 53-man roster projection, this time with a projected practice squad too, available to see.