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Browns add linebacker depth in wake of injuries

Team signs Montrel Meander and Willie Harvey Jr. after Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki were injured in Thursday’s practice.

NFL: AUG 29 Browns Training Camp Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry did not waste any time bringing in some temporary depth at the linebacker position as the team signed Montrel Meander and Willie Harvey Jr. on Friday.

The moves come a day after the Browns lost linebacker Jacob Phillips to a torn biceps tendon and linebacker Sione Takitaki to a hamstring injury during practice.

The 6-foot-2 and 215-pound Meander has been a frequent addition to the Browns since they first signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He has spent time on Cleveland’s practice squad in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons, and played in four games last season, all on special teams.

Meander had been with the team in training camp this summer before being released on Monday as part of the first wave of mandatory roster cuts.

The 5-foot-11 and 230-pound Harvey earned a roster invite in 2019 after a tryout during rookie minicamp. He opened that season on the team’s practice squad, but eventually appeared in two games for landing on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Harvey was with the Browns in training camp in 2020, but was released during the final roster cuts and did not catch on with a team.

To make room on the roster for Meander and Harvey, the Browns released running back Corey Taylor II, who was signed on August 6, and wide receiver JoJo Ward, who was just signed on Thursday.