The Browns’ plans for Nick Harris have been shelved for the 2022 season.
Cleveland is placing the center on injured reserve, coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed Tuesday, officially ending Harris’ season.
Harris suffered a knee injury early in Cleveland’s 24-13 preseason-opening win over Jacksonville and did not return to the game. The Browns have feared the injury would end his season, and Tuesday’s placement on IR confirms such worries.
Making matters worse, rookie center Dawson Deaton suffered a torn ACL in Monday’s practice, ending his season just days after Harris suffered his injury.
Cleveland signed veteran center Ethan Pocic in the offseason as an insurance policy for Harris, a 2020 fifth-round pick out of Washington who served as a backup guard in his first two seasons. The long-term plan included Harris replacing former starter JC Tretter, whom the Browns released in the offseason, but Harris’ injury means Cleveland will have to turn to Pocic.
Deaton’s injury eliminates the depth Cleveland hoped to have at the position and would seem to force the Browns to search for external help. Signing Tretter would make sense, but to this point, there’s been no indication Cleveland or Tretter is interested in a reunion, despite the center remaining unsigned.
The summer has been tumultuous for the Browns, who are awaiting a final ruling on quarterback Deshaun Watson’s suspension, lost two centers in the last week, and had to place another offseason signing, Jakeem Grant, on IR after he injured his Achilles during practice. The challenge remains for general manager Andrew Berry to best position his team for success in 2022 despite these hurdles.
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