The Cleveland Browns made a series of roster moves on Tuesday that, while appearing to be minor at first, could have an impact on Sunday’s Divisional Round playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The club placed left guard Michael Dunn (calf strain) and cornerback Robert Jackson (hamstring) on injured reserve, cornerback A.J. Green (hamstring) on the practice squad’s injured reserve list, and signed cornerback Donovan Olumba to the practice squad.
We've made the following roster moves:— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 12, 2021
Placed on Reserve/Injured:
G Michael Dunn (calf)
CB Robert Jackson (hamstring)
Placed on Practice Squad/Injured:
CB A.J. Green (hamstring)
Signed to practice squad:
CB Donovan Olumba
Dunn started Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after left guard Joel Bitonio was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. In his first action of the season, Dunn was part of an offensive line that did not allow a sack. He was injured late in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Blake Hance, who was signed off the practice squad of the New York Jets last week.
While not as successful, Jackson has been called on the past two weeks to fill in after cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. It may not have always been pretty, but Jackson did play 92 percent of the defensive snaps over the past two games, so someone is going to have to take his place.
The loss of Dunn and Jackson, along with Green going on injured reserve, could become an issue if Bitonio, Ward and Johnson are not cleared in time to face the Chiefs.
While it is expected that Bitonio will be back at practice on Thursday, and Johnson could be as well as he has been on the list since January 2, the Browns have been quiet about Ward’s status. As we’ve all seen this season, most notably with defensive end Myles Garrett, simply returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list is not a guarantee that a player will be at full strength.
There is also the question of right tackle Jack Conklin, who is day to day with a hamstring injury that limited him to just 17 plays against the Steelers. While Conklin avoided the dreaded Monday MRI for his injury, hamstring injuries can often lead to players missing a few weeks, so if Conklin can’t go against the Chiefs the Browns will turn to veteran Kendall Lamm, who did a nice job against the Steelers after Conklin left the game.
As for Olumba, he was with the Browns during training camp in 2020 before being released during the final roster cutdowns and did not catch on with another team.
The 6-foot-1 and 195-pound Olumba originally signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He spent his first two seasons on the practice squad with the Cowboys before playing in the season finale of the 2019 season, where he was on the field for 32 defensive snaps and six plays on special teams.