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Browns add insurance at kicker

Cleveland signs placekicker Riley Patterson to the practice squad as Dustin Hopkins is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns added a little bit of insurance on Monday with the signing of placekicker Riley Patterson to the practice squad.

What would normally be a minor transaction relegated to the agate type (for those old enough to know that reference) takes on greater importance after kicker Dustin Hopkins injured his hamstring while trying to tackle returner Dameon Pierce during Sunday’s victory over the Houston Texans.

With Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets looming and Hopkins’ availability in doubt, the addition of Patterson should help calm a few nerves over the next few days.

Patterson has played in 37 career games after signing with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2021. He did not stick with the Vikings but was with the Detroit Lions for seven games in his rookie season.

Patterson played with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022, converting 85.7 percent of his field goals with a long of 53 yards, and missed just one extra point in 37 attempts. He kicked in both of Jacksonville’s playoff games, where he was a perfect three-of-three on field goals and four-of-four on extra points, so that’s a nice bonus.

It was back to Detroit this season and Patterson lasted 13 games before the Lions released him on December 19. He was 15-of-17 on field goals, with a long of 52 yards, and 35-of-37 on extra points before the Lions moved on from him. Patterson also converted a game-winning kick in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

All told, Patterson has converted 87.9 percent of his field goals and 96.7 percent of his extra points. He has only attempted six field goals beyond 50 yards in his career, however, and has only made three of those, which is problematic given how the Browns tend to play close games knowing that they had Hopkins, who has converted all eight of his attempts beyond 50 yards this season, at the ready.

Hopefully, Patterson can be good enough if called upon to help the Browns get past the Jets and Cincinnati Bengals and allow Hopkins to heal up for when the games matter in the playoffs.