The Cleveland Browns made a roster move on Thursday, signing free agent linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong.
In a corresponding transaction, the Browns released linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster, who was spotted on special teams last Sunday against Tampa Bay, while also logging a lone defensive snap where he did not record a statistic.
Armstrong opened the season with the New York Giants, but was released on Wednesday after reaching an injury settlement with the team. He was placed on injured reserve with a concussion sustained in New York’s Week 6 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 6-foot-3 and 220-pound Armstrong totaled 20 tackles for the Giants before his injury. A six-year veteran, Armstrong has also played for the Rams when the team was in St. Louis, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.
It would seem that Armstrong is ticketed for special teams play with the Browns, but he may have a talent that would prove useful to his new team.
A safety in college at the University of Miami, Armstrong has shown some success in pass coverage, an area that Browns lack on a regular basis from their linebackers.
Armstrong talked about that aspect of his game in a 2017 article by Patricia Traina at forbes.com:
“It helps a lot. Playing safety, you have to cover a lot of skill guys, guys with speed and great in space and moving to linebacker, it’s pretty much tight ends and running backs.”
With starting middle linebacker Joe Schobert expected to miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury this Sunday when the Browns face the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns need to find a way to give Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey - who both played the entire game against the Buccaneers - a breather.
If the coaching staff believes that Armstrong is up to the task, he may see the field on passing downs come Sunday at Heinz Field.