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Browns sign WR Alexander Hollins

Hollins is familiar to HC Kevin Stefanski after spending time together with the Minnesota Vikings in 2019.

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns signed wide receiver Alexander Hollins on Monday from the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings.

The move appears to be some insurance in case one or more of the wide receivers currently being held out for COVID-19-related issues is unable to go in Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois, the 6-foot and 166-pound Hollins spent 10 weeks on Minnesota’s practice squad in 2019. He joined the Vikings active roster for the final five weeks of the season, making one start, and finishing the season with two receptions for 46 yards.

Hollins spent the first 16 weeks of this season on Minnesota’s practice squad.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski is familiar with Hollins from their time together in Minnesota, which made Hollins attractive to the Browns. But Stefanski denied the move had anything to do with wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge being on the Reserve/COVID-19, according to clevelandbrowns.com:

“(Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry) and his staff do a great job, they are always looking to manage the roster. Alexander is somebody that I have some experience with and kind of just told Andrew and his group what you are getting – tough receiver, good speed, knows the system.”

As for the quartet of receivers who landed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list after being identified as high-risk, close contacts to linebacker B.J. Goodson, the Browns are hopeful that all four, along with linebacker Jacob Phillips, will continue to test negative and return to practice on Thursday.

Cleveland also signed guard Cordel Iwuagwu to the practice squad on Monday.

Iwuagwu, who is 6-foot-3 and 313 pounds, was signed this year by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent out of TCU.

He was cut by the Texans at the end of training camp and spent a short amount of time on Houston’s practice squad before being released in September.

Iwuagwu provides some additional depth at a position that has been hit by injuries. Starting right guard Wyatt Teller has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, backup Chris Hubbard was lost two weeks ago to a season-ending knee injury, and third-string guard Nick Harris suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets.