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Browns elevate Elijah Benton to active roster

Cleveland in dire need of depth at the safety position with Karl Joseph and Ronnie Harrison Jr. both out for Sunday’s game.

NFL: AUG 30 Browns Training Camp Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns added safety Elijah Benton to the active roster on Saturday.

The move comes as the Browns prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday with a sudden lack of depth at the safety position.

Benton is an undrafted free agent out of Liberty who spent the first five weeks of the season on the practice squad. The 6-foot-1 and 205-pound Benton made the Liberty football team as a walk-on in 2016 and had 85 tackles and an interception in 2019.

Adding another safety to the roster was to be expected after the Browns ruled out Ronnie Harrison Jr., who is dealing with a concussion, and Karl Joseph, who has a hamstring injury, for the game against the Steelers.

Those injuries leave the Browns with just Andrew Sendejo, Sheldrick Redwine, who is expected to get the start on Sunday, and Jovante Moffatt as the only healthy safeties on the roster.

With Redwine and possibly Moffatt needing to take snaps on defense, that would appear to create an opportunity for Benton on special teams.

Cleveland does not have to make a corresponding roster move to add Jackson to the roster given the new rules put in place this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams are permitted to protect up to four practice squad players each week, and are allowed to promote one or two practice squad players to the game day roster each week as long as they do it prior to 4 p.m. on the day before a game.

If a player is promoted, they return to the team’s practice squad after the game.