On Monday, the Cleveland Browns claimed OL Gabe Ikard off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. Funny enough, it’s the second time in two seasons that Cleveland has claimed him off waivers from Buffalo, and this isn’t even the same regime.
Ikard was an undrafted free agent in 2014 with the Tennessee Titans. He spent all of 2014 on injured reserve with a knee injury, and after he didn't make the Titans' roster at the start of 2015, the Bills claimed him off waivers. He was a reserve lineman for Buffalo last year, making appearances in three games; Cleveland added him to the roster for one week in December after Joel Bitonio had gone on injured reserve.
This year, the addition comes as more questions arise with starting C Cameron Erving. In his second game back from a bruised lung, Erving had to leave the Bengals game with what has only been described as an “illness.” When the team released their Week 8 depth chart today, Ikard was listed as the backup center, which would seem to indicate that he *could* start this Sunday against the Jets.
If Cleveland doesn’t want to throw Ikard into the starting mix right away, then John Greco would get the start at center. Spencer Drango is now listed atop the depth chart at left guard, so that change will probably stick. As for right guard, the team could pick Alvin Bailey or Jonathan Cooper. They could also finally decide to start Shon Coleman at right tackle, which would then put Austin Pasztor in the mix at right guard. It’ll be interesting to see what the first-team offensive line looks like in practice this week.
Aside: Ikard sounds intrigued to be in the middle of a city with a lot of sports excitement:
Pumped to be part of the #DawgPound. On a side note...I've never been to a World Series game . https://t.co/oIRz7Jc28U— Gabe Ikard (@GabeIkard) October 24, 2016