The Cleveland Browns defense has been hit with another big blow. Rookie safety Grant Delpit out of LSU is out for the year with a torn Achilles according to multiple reports.
The Browns had already lost free agent signing Andrew Billings for the year after he chose to opt-out. Another big free agent move cornerback Kevin Johnson will likely miss at least a couple of games with a lacerated kidney. Finally, starting linebacker, Mack Wilson will be out for some time with a severely hyperextended knee.
Delpit was already set to be a significant presence in both nickel and dime sets for Joe Woods defense. The limits within the linebacking core pointed to the Browns using the nickel and dime much more this season. Losing a player of Delpit’s talent is a huge blow, but the Browns still have some solid players remaining. Young safety Sheldon Redwine had a solid run at the end of last season and veteran free agents Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo were expected to have significant roles. The scouts were also excited to see Elijah Benton and now may get even more of him.
Cleveland Browns Free Agent Options
The first name Browns fans will likely jump to is Earl Thomas. If the Ravens moved on, then the issues there are likely not worth the time. Some veterans that could still have something left include Clayton Geathers, Eric Reid, and another former Raven Tony Jefferson. All come with some questions but could help with depth.
J.C. Tretter warned of this
Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter wrote about the potential of increased injuries in his open letter to the NFL about the long layoff because of COVID.
“We did our due diligence and reviewed the impact of returning to play football after an unusually long period away,’’ he wrote in July on the union website. “For example, following the extended break after the 2011 lockout, injuries increased by 25%. Achilles injuries more than doubled, and hamstring strains went up 44%.‘’– J.C. Tretter via the union website
The Browns have certainly seen their share of injuries in the first 7-10 days of contact drills. As the old cliche says, it is time for the “next man up.”
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