Phillips has been on the injured reserve list since tearing a biceps tendon during a joint practice against the New York Giants on August 19. He was designated to return this past Monday, which is fortuitous as the Browns lost starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday.
We've activated LB Jacob Phillips from injured reserve and made other roster moves— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 11, 2021
Phillips, who was the team’s third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, had been working as Walker’s backup in the preseason as the Browns were hoping that Phillips could build on his rookie season, where he started three games and had a team-high 10 tackles in the final game of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Seeing as how the last game that Phillips played that mattered was in AFC Divisional Round playoff game last January against the Kansas City Chiefs, he will likely have a limited role against the Ravens.
But his football IQ will make him a welcome addition to the defense, run game coordinator Ben Bloom said on Thursday (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“The thing about Jacob is he is such a hard worker, and he is an instinctive football player. If you just watch his whole career in college and in the NFL, when he goes in, he makes plays. He is the playmaker. He is what we want in linebackers. He has length, speed and competitiveness. When he played early in his rookie year, he made plays. I have all of the confidence in the world that when he gets back on the field, it is just like riding a bike.”
In other transactions, Cleveland promoted wide receiver JoJo Natson from the practice squad, elevated cornerback Herb Miller and safety Jovante Moffatt from the practice squad as COVID-19 replacements, and waived wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley.