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Browns place OLB Nate Orchard on IR, sign OLB Cam Johnson

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns made a surprising roster move on Saturday, placing second-year outside linebacker Nate Orchard on injured reserve.

Orchard suffered an ankle injury at the end of last week’s game, and that injury typically takes a month or so to recover from. The belief was that Cleveland could still get by with three outside linebackers suiting up: Emmanuel Ogbah, Joe Schobert, and Corey Lemonier.

Unexpectedly on Saturday, Cleveland had to list Lemonier as “doubtful” for Sunday’s game due to personal reasons. With only two available outside linebackers on the roster, the potential hybrids like Armonty Bryant and Carl Nassib still about a week away from returning, the team needed to find someone who could provide depth in a pinch. That’s why they signed Cam Johnson off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad. Johnson spent all of camp with the Browns.

The corresponding move was placing Orchard on IR. It’s possible that they will eventually designate him as the one player to return from IR. If they do, he could practice in six weeks, but would have to miss a minimum of eight games. Cleveland’s decision could come down to deciding between Orchard and QB Robert Griffin III.