The Cleveland Browns have benched starting left tackle Greg Robinson as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
While the club did not announce it, Robinson clued in reporters on Friday:
#Browns left tackle Greg Robinson just confirmed he’s a backup. He wouldn’t say who will start at left tackle Sunday, but he vowed to help whoever it is.— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) October 25, 2019
All signs point to Justin McCray being Robinson’s replacement vs. #Patriots
It is a move that has been rumored for a while as Robinson has struggled with consistency all season. While he has only allowed one sack in 335 offensive snaps, he has allowed two quarterback hits, seven hurries, 10 pressures, committed five penalties and posted an overall grade of 67.8 from Pro Football Focus.
Robinson said the topic of his inconsistent play came up during the discussion about his benching with general manager John Dorsey, according to ohio.com:
“I spoke with Dorsey, and I respected him, honestly, and all he asked was more consistency out of me, and that’s my focus. Each day, I’m just trying to get better at one small thing, even if it’s just hand placement, my base, focusing on just all skill set, just becoming a better player.”
Robinson earned a one-year contract from the Browns in the offseason after playing better than undrafted free agent Desmond Harrison - who is currently out of the league - over the final eight games of last season.
The Browns have not made an announcement on who will start in Robinson’s place, but it appears that Justin McCray, who was acquired in a trade with the Green Bay Packers right before the season began, will get the first shot.
McCray, who has reportedly been taking reps in practice this week at left tackle, made two starts at left tackle with the Packers and is familiar with current offensive line coach James Campen, who previously held the same position with Green Bay.
Earlier in the week, head coach Freddie Kitchens was asked about McCray and Kitchens praised him for his versatility, according to cleveland.com:
“Justin is very versatile. Justin can go in and play all five spots. He even snapped the ball some today. Justin is one of our more versatile guys, though. If he were to go out there at tackle, I would have total confidence in him if that is what you are looking for.”
It will be a surprise if benching Robinson is the only move the Browns make on the offensive line. It may not come this Sunday, but right tackle Chris Hubbard and right guard Eric Kush appear to also be in line to join Robinson on the sidelines in the near future.