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Cleveland Browns Claim RB Bobby Rainey, RB Dennis Johnson

Both running backs offer versatility as both a running back and a kick returner.

Patrick Smith

The Cleveland Browns have claimed two running backs off waivers, according to reports: Bobby Rainey from the Baltimore Ravens and Dennis Johnson from the Houston Texans.

More on Bobby Rainey

  • I am particularly excited about Rainey. When Dion Lewis broke his leg a few weeks ago, I pointed out Rainey's productivity as a kick returner this preseason for the Ravens.

  • I was pretty stunned when the Ravens cut him on Saturday. An undrafted free agent in 2012, Rainey had 23 carries for 89 yards (3.9 YPC) and 2 touchdowns this preseason, along with 3 catches for 17 yards.

  • More importantly, Rainey averaged 31.9 yards per return on 7 kickoff returns. I would expect Rainey to be the team's opening day kick returner, a role that cornerback Johnson Bademosi had been awkwardly filling since Lewis' injury.

  • In terms of measurables, Rainey is 5-8, 212 pounds. He is considered an all-purpose back, and I expect his versatility to be a major plus for the Browns this year. For as big of a loss as Lewis seemed to be after he broke his leg, this just might be an offsetting gain.

  • Ravens fans over at Baltimore Beatdown were not pleased when the team released Rainey, and they'll be even more upset to know that a division rival got him. How upset were they upon Rainey's release? Take a look at this poll from their site:

  • Dane Brugler of CBS Sports had this to say about Rainey after the Browns claimed him:
  • Pro Football Focus likes the move:

More on Dennis Johnson

  • I don't know as much about Johnson, but he's another pretty small back, measuring in at 5-7, 196 pounds. He was an undrafted free agent by the Texans this year.

  • This preseason, Johnson had 33 carries for 129 yards (3.9 YPC) and 1 touchdown, to go along with 5 catches for 31 yards. He did have two fumbles, but those may have come on special teams.

  • Johnson averaged 25 yards per return on 3 kickoff returns during the preseason, so its possible the Browns could try him out there as well. He also averaged 10.4 yards per punt return on 11 attempts.

  • Here's what Brugler had to say about Johnson:

Both guys seem to specialize in kick returns, and Johnson seems to have some college credentials excelling in that area. We'll see who ends up in that spot on opening day; perhaps Cleveland will take a look at both guys in the coming days as sort of a "on-roster tryout," and then end up waiving the other player.

UPDATE: The Browns released RB Brandon Jackson, so it's pretty safe to say that both Rainey and Johnson will stick in Cleveland.