Is the job of Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning in jeopardy? After he had a punt deflected and another one blocked in last week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, it couldn't have been easy for Lanning to see the Browns holding a tryout with three punters on Thursday:
#Browns worked out 3 punters on Thursday: Zoltan Mesko, T.J. Conley, and Robert Malone.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) November 22, 2013
Fans should be somewhat familiar with T.J. Conley. He was with the Browns in training camp, but Lanning ultimately beat him out for the job. Whereas Conley was the full-time punter for the Jets in 2011, Robert Malone held that role in 2012. He was the Jets' punter for the first two games of the 2013 season too and had an 84-yard punt in Week 1. Zoltan Mesko is probably the biggest name of the bunch. He was with the Patriots for three years before playing for the Steelers for the first seven weeks of this season.
None of the punters being tried out really have better numbers than Conley, so I don't think the tryouts are related to a disappointment in anything Lanning did -- the protection is what was wrong against the Bengals. The more likely issue is this: although he has been listed as a full participant in practice, Lanning has a left knee injury, according to the injury report. If something worsens with Lanning's knee by Saturday, the Browns at least have an idea as to who they would call up to punt in an emergency.