The injury bug bit the Cleveland Browns the very first preseason game as tight end Stephen Carlson will miss the entire season with a knee injury, first reported by ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Carlson exited against the Jacksonville Jaguars and was eventually ruled out, which is never a good sign. The team’s fourth tight end on the depth chart, so the impact is not huge. Still, something you never want to happen and is just another example why teams are so cautious with playing starters. Carlson was depth at best, but the example still stands. Carlson is a Princeton alum.
The third-year tight end appeared in 25 games over two years for the Browns and had a total of 62 receiving yards. Much more of a blocking tight end that Kevin Stefanski so much loves. This could potentially open a pathway for Jordan Franks or Connor Davis making the team. The pair combined for three catches last night against the Jaguars with Franks being targeted more often.
Another route the Browns could go is surely keeping Andy Janovich on the roster. With the plethora of running backs this team has it was never a 100% lock that Janovich would be on the team. He does similar things as Carlson and had a good game against the Jaguars that showcased his ability. Janovich is a gritty blocker that helps this team, something that will never show up on the stat sheet. The team would obviously like to keep four tight ends, but Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant plus Janovich could get the job done.
There is multiple routes that Cleveland could decide to go. With two preseason games left there is plenty of time to let the position shake out the best way it can. For Carlson this is a bad mark on his career that he can hopefully bounce back from.