The Cleveland Browns announced several roster moves on Tuesday, which were made necessary due to injuries to quarterback Josh McCown and center Cameron Erving.
First, let’s get the obvious news out of the way: the team officially signed quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, which we reported on this morning. He will serve as the backup to rookie Cody Kessler this Sunday, and presumably for however long that McCown is out. The good news is that McCown wasn’t placed on injured reserve, which might be a sign that he’s expected to recover.
The team also signed center Austin Reiter off the Washington Redskins’ practice squad. He was a seventh-round pick by the Redskins in 2015 and will serve as an insurance policy in case something happens to John Greco on Sunday. Erving was also not placed on injured reserve, so they anticipate him returning at some point this season.
Because neither McCown nor Erving were placed on IR, the Browns had to waive two familiar faces: defensive end John Hughes and inside linebacker Scooby Wright.
Hughes had a quick decline from the top of the depth chart. After defensive end Desmond Bryant suffered a season-ending injury before training camp, Hughes was viewed as the new leader of the defensive line. However, a personal matter kept him out of about three weeks worth of training camp. His snaps were limited in Week 1, and heading into Week 2, the team promoted Gabe Wright from the practice squad. Hughes was a healthy scratch for Week 2, as the team activated pass rushing defensive end Tyrone Holmes instead.
Hughes was in the middle of a 4-year contract extension he signed last season that would've kept him under contract through 2019. The team will still incur a dead cap hit of $1.5 million for him next year.
Wright, the team’s seventh-round draft pick, was inactive for the first two weeks. It is expected that he’ll be re-signed to the practice squad.