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Browns place Jacob Phillips on IR

Linebacker is now eligible to return in 2021 after suffering torn biceps tendon. Club re-signs defensive end Joe Jackson to fill the roster spot.

Cleveland Browns Training Camp Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns placed second-year linebacker Jacob Phillips on the injured reserve list on Wednesday.

The move has been expected ever since Phillips suffered a torn biceps tendon during a joint practice against the New York Giants on August 19. By first placing Phillips on the initial 53-man roster and then moving him to injured reserve, the Browns have the option of bringing him back at some point during the 2021 season.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said on Thursday that Phillips has undergone surgery and has started his rehab, adding that the team is optimistic that Phillips might be able to return later in the season.

To fill Phillips’ spot on the roster, the Browns re-signed defensive end Joe Jackson, who had been waived on Tuesday during the roster cutdown. Jackson played in three games for the Browns in 2020, finishing with a fumble recovery and five tackles.

It is a bit of an interesting move on the part of general manager Andrew Berry as Jackson had to pass through waivers after being released since he does not have enough accrued seasons. The Browns clearly were OK with bringing Jackson back, and they knew they would be placing Phillips on the injured reserve list, so it is somewhat surprising that Berry ran the risk, no matter how small, that Jackson would be claimed by another team.

In any event, Jackson’s return brings the number of defensive ends on the active roster to four, with Porter Gustin and Curtis Weaver in reserve on the practice squad.