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Browns promote Robert McCray from the practice squad

Addition of the rookie defensive end for Sunday’s game could mean that Olivier Vernon will be out again.

Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns added defensive end Robert McCray to the active roster on Saturday.

In a corresponding transaction, the club waived defensive tackle Brandin Bryant, who had two tackles in four games with the Browns.

McCray, who is 6-foot-1 and 273 pounds, originally signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Indiana. At that time, McCray was trying to find a position, according to John Dillon at Chiefs Wire:

This isn’t a guy that really jumps off the page in terms of physical numbers. He is relatively short stature and bulky frame make him something of a tweener as a candidate to stand up and rush the edge, but the closing speed and strong arms are evident even on the minimal film there is on him. He managed six sacks his senior year in Bloomington and seven tackles for a loss so the production has flashed, now its just a question of if his game will translate to the next level.

McCray spent most of the 2018 season on Kansas City’s practice squad before signing a reserve/future contract with the Chiefs in January of this year. He was with the Chiefs during training camp and the preseason this summer before being let go in the final roster cutdown. The Browns signed him to their practice squad on November 27.

This would mostly be a low-level roster move if not for the fact that the Browns list McCray as a defensive end. Promoting him a day before the game against the Baltimore Ravens could be an indication that the Browns know that defensive end Olivier Vernon will not be able to go on Sunday, or at least they want McCray around as insurance in case Vernon gives it a shot and can’t make it through the game.

Vernon was limited in practice this week and has missed five of the past six games after suffering a knee injury against the Denver Broncos on November 3.

He is one of six players listed as questionable for the game, joining center JC Tretter, right tackle Kendall Lamm, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, defensive back Eric Murray and running back Dontrell Hilliard.