In this week's episode of For Pete's Sake, Nicole Chatham (@Browns_Babe) and I discuss the Cleveland Browns working down to their 53-man roster through the lens of the preseason game against the New York Giants combined with injury news coming out of Berea.
The Browns really don't have that many roster spots left to decide as long as they don't suffer additional injuries. Linebacker Montrel Meander, tight end Connor Davis and kicker Cody Parkey were all placed on injured reserve, though Parkey was released shortly after.
I got a chance to do a little gloating about Chase McLaughlin definitely winning the kicker job rather and definitely not getting it by default.
Overall, the offense is almost entirely decided. There may be some roster gymnastics the team performs to enable them to keep guys around, but due to losing their fourth and now fifth tight ends, they only keep three in favor of ten offensive linemen, which is a difficult choice in itself.
Defensively, the secondary seems pretty much decided but because of injuries to likes of Jacob Phillips (bicep) and Tony Fields (foot), the linebacker position may simply not have enough players that are worth keeping. Between that and the style of teams they are scheduled to play including the Kansas City Chiefs, they only opt to keep five, allowing them to keep ten defensive linemen.
Six of those defensive linemen are defensive tackles simply because they have no certainty at that position right now outside of Malik Jackson. Andrew Billings is a work in progress, Jordan Elliott played well against the Giants, but Tommy Togiai has been understandably bad given his youth in a league of grown men. As a result, they may want to keep Sheldon Day because he's a reliable pro and Malik McDowell because he is at least flashing exciting potential.
We also discuss the practice squad and I explain how it can cover some issues as well as why it's simply more fun and interesting because the Browns can activate two of them on gameday, giving them two additional players. That could be key for both tight end and linebacker currently.