The Cleveland Browns are reportedly signing veteran offensive lineman Joe Haeg.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo was the first to report the news.
The #Browns are signing veteran OL Joe Haeg, source says. With RT Jack Conklin working his way back from knee surgery, Haeg provides depth at tackle and he can play guard, too. Haeg met with the #Raiders last week but heads to Cleveland instead.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 4, 2022
A seven-year veteran who has played for the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers over the past six seasons, Haeg has appeared in 79 career games and made 40 starts, with the majority of them (29) coming with the Colts in 2016 and 2017.
Haeg has played tackle so far during his NFL career, but Garafolo reports that he could also serve as a backup option at the guard position.
The signing seems to be another indicator that starting right tackle Jack Conklin may not be ready for next weekend’s season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
Conklin opened training camp on the active/physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list as he was still finishing up his recovery from a torn patella tendon in his knee suffered during the November 28 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Conklin underwent surgery to repair the damage in December and was activated off of the PUP list on August 1, which was a positive sign for what was a significant injury.
Despite the Browns saying all the right things about Conklin and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, talking in the offseason about the veteran tackle being “ahead of schedule” in his rehab, Conklin has been limited in practice and head coach Kevin Stefanski could not commit to Conklin begin available against the Panthers when asked about his status last week.
If Conklin is unable to go against Carolina, the Browns could turn to James Hudson III, who has been picking up playing time during the preseason with Conklin sidelined, or veteran Chris Hubbard, who has been limited in practice as he recovers from a triceps injury that ended his 2021 season after just one game.