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Browns, Chiefs make roster moves ahead of 2021 season opener

Elijah Lee
Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-11 16:31:04-04

CLEVELAND — As the Cleveland Browns prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon in Arrowhead Stadium, both teams are making roster moves in preparation of the season opener.

After kicker Chase McLaughlin wound up on the injury report Friday with a right hamstring injury after a full practice that day, the Browns elevated kicker Chris Naggar to the active roster. Naggar was signed to the Browns practice squad last Thursday after originally signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Methodist University. With SMU, Naggar was the 2020 AAC Special Teams Player of the Year.

The Browns also elevated linebacker Elijah Lee to the active roster ahead of the game Sunday. Lee had a promising training camp with the Browns and although he didn't make the team's initial 53-man roster, he was signed back to the practice squad the next day after clearing waivers.

The two elevations are part of a rule allowing a team to carry up to 55 players on the roster during a given week before the transaction deadline ahead of a game, giving the team a larger pool to choose from when selecting their 47 or 48 gameday active players. Following the game, the players elevated to the active roster for that purpose will revert back to the practice squad the day after the game.

Several players aside from McLaughlin were on the Browns injury report Friday, including wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., safety Ronnie Harrison, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, center JC Tretter and safety Grant Delpit. Harrison is working through an ankle injury, Clowney has been dealing with an illness, Tretter is dealing with a knee injury and Delpit is working through a hamstring injury.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday that Beckham has not had a set back in terms of his rehab from his knee surgery but that they'd discuss between then and Sunday his status for the first game of the season.

“I think he was limited today so we'll use the next 48 hours with all of these guys and determine who is playing and who is not. We'll let you know 90 minutes before the game,” Stefanski said.

The Browns ruled guard Michael Dunn and linebacker Tony Fields II out of the game with a back injury and illness, respectfully.

Kansas City also made several roster moves Saturday ahead of the game, including activating a key defensive player.

Safety Tyrann Mathieu was activated from the Chiefs' Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday before the 4 p.m. deadline for them to do so. While he's active, the safety has been listed as questionable heading into the game after missing more than a week of practice.

The Chiefs also elevated defensive back Zayne Anderson from their practice squad to their active roster.

On the injury report for Kansas City, defensive end Frank Clark, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi were also listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and a hip injury, respectively.

The Chiefs offensive lineman Austin Blythe was ruled out of the game with an abdomen injury.

As Stefanski said, the full injury report will be released 90 minutes before the game Sunday, which kicks off at 4:25 p.m.

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