The Cleveland Browns have placed defensive end Porter Gustin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, joining fellow defensive ends Myles Garrett and Joe Jackson. All three will be out against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which leaves the Browns with just three defensive ends between the active roster and practice squad.
Gustin played a significant number of snaps against the Philadelphia Eagles due to the fact that Garrett was out. Now, without both of them and not being able to use Jackson either, the Browns are left with Olivier Vernon and Adrian Clayborn on the active roster and Cameron Malveaux on the practice squad.
Malveaux was activated from the practice squad to play against the Eagles over Jackson and he will be needed against the Jaguars.
Presumably, the Browns will be trying to find help on short notice to get at least one more body at defensive end. Failing that, they may need to get creative.
Sheldon Richardson and Sione Takitaki both have experience playing on the edge, but Takitaki is out for this game because he was put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Richardson can do it, but it puts strain on the defensive tackle spot.
Gustin has played in ten games, starting three and has recorded nine solo tackles, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Largely an energy player, who can rotate and play with a consistent motor, Gustin has flashed in games, but has yet to record a sack on the quarterback.
The Browns activated offensive lineman Chris Hubbard, leaving the Browns with Garrett, Jackson, Takitaki and Gustin on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Only Garrett is likely to be back for the following game against the Tennessee Titans, so the Browns will likely want another defensive end on their roster for at least the next two games.