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Browns add 15 players to practice squad, 1 to active roster

It was a busy day in Berea that saw the return of preseason darling Austin Watkins to the team.

Cleveland Browns v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns made a flurry of transactions on Wednesday as general manager Andrew Berry filled out the practice squad and added a player to the active roster.

For starters, the Browns were awarded a waiver claim for cornerback Kahlef Hailassie from the Kansas City Chiefs. The 6-foot-1 and 195-pound Hailassie joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent following this year’s NFL Draft. He played in all three preseason games for the Chiefs, recording eight tackles and an interception.

The Browns got to see Hailassie up close on Saturday in their preseason game against the Chiefs, and apparently liked what they saw, as head coach Kevin Stefanski said when asked about the move on Wednesday (quote via a team-provided transcript):

“He played well in our game, we thought. He did a nice job so that certainly caught our eye. Did some work on him over the course of his time there – college, productive player.”

To make room for Hailassie on the roster, the Browns released cornerback A.J. Green, who has been with the team for three seasons. Stefanski attributed the decision to the team’s crowded defensive back group, but also said the team would be cool with bringing Green back if the opportunity is right.

As for the rest of the day, the Browns added 15 players to the practice squad:

  • CB Lorenzo Burns
  • WR Jaelon Darden
  • G Michaell Dunn
  • RB Hassan Hall
  • DT Trysten Hill
  • DE Sam Kamara
  • S Tanner McCalister
  • TE Zaire Mitchell-Paden
  • DE Lonnie Phelps
  • LB Charlie Thomas III
  • DE Isaiah Thomas
  • WR Austin Watkins
  • K Lucas Havrisik
  • OT Alex Leatherwood
  • QB P.J. Walker

Thankfully, Browns fans can rest easy now that Watkins, who led the team in receiving in the preseason, is back with the team.

Other notables are the addition of Leatherwood, a former first-round draft pick who hasn’t found his way after stops with the Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears, and Walker, who made seven starts over the course of three seasons with the Carolina Panthers so he can fill the always coveted “veteran QB role” behind starter Deshaun Watson and rookie backup Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

The Browns have one spot remaining on the practice squad.