The Cleveland Browns have activated left guard Joel Bitonio from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Bitonio was the last player on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, which would mean the Browns are at full strength relative to the roster they have as they prepare for the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Kansas City Chiefs. They also announced they were waiving Tedric Thompson.
The Browns got an inspiring performance out of Michael Dunn in the wildcard round until he suffered a calf injury, but Bitonio would give the Browns their starting lineup back with all eyes on Jack Conklin and the status of his hamstring.
The Chiefs have one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in Chris Jones, so they will want to have the best available to try to limit his impact and hopefully frustrate him over the course of the game.
The Chiefs could employ more stunts than the Steelers did and Bitonio's experience and awareness could be critical in helping the offensive line deal with them. Rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills did a really nice job against the Steelers and doesn't get enough credit for what he did, because the focus understandably was on the replacements playing left guard. Nevertheless, Bitonio inside of him provides valuable security there.
Since Bitonio missed the game against the Steelers, this will be his first playoff game of his impressive career. He was named 2nd Team All-Pro by the Associated Press for the third season in a row.
Tedric Thompson was waived to make the numbers work. Thompson was signed when the Browns were down at the safety position due to injuries after Ronnie Harrison injured his shoulder. That evolved into being depth when the position dealt with COVID-19 issues.
Thompson was never actually utilized in a game, but functioned largely as a practice player.