Cleveland Browns sign a pair of running backs

Sep 7, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Sam Houston State Bearkats running back Timothy Flanders (20) scores a rushing touchdown during the first quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With a quartet of running backs currently nursing injuries, the Cleveland Browns signed Timothy Flanders and Jalen Parmele on Monday.

To make room for the duo, the Browns released wide receiver Kevin Cone and defensive back Brandon Stephens.

The team made the announcement on its website.

The Browns are currently missing running backs Terrance WestDuke JohnsonGlenn Winston and Luke Lundy and, with no clear timetable for their return, need some bodies in camp.

Flanders, who is 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds, spent a redshirt year at Kansas State before transferring to Sam Houston State. After making the Bearkats as a walk on, he led the Southland Conference in rushing as a freshman. He followed that up by rushing for 1,644 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore, 1,642 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, and 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior, a year that included a 170-yard, two-TD game against Texas A&M (quarterbacked by none other than Johnny Manziel):

Flanders finished his collegiate career as the Southland Conference’s all-time rushing and scoring leader with 5,664 yards and 66 touchdowns before signing with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent.

According to his draft profile at NFL.com, Flanders:

Has very small hands. Had 999 college carries and took a lot of hits. Average creativity — not dynamic and does not string moves together. Lacks top-end speed to pull away from the pack. Not a powerful tackle-breaker and often goes down on initial contact (average yards after contact). Does not create his own hole. Will need work in pass protection

Parmele, who is 6 foot and 224 pounds, is fourth NFL season. He was a sixth-round draft pick by Miami in the 2008 NFL Draft, and has played three years in Baltimore (seven rushes for 44 yards), a season in Jacksonville (40 rushes for 143 yards), and one year with Arizona (one rush for zero yards). He was out of the NFL in the 2011 and 2013 seasons.

At this time last year, Parmele was trying to catch the attention of Arizona head coach Bruce Arians.

“He can play in this league, and he might make our football team because he’s finding a niche in special teams,” Arians told The Arizona Republic. “If you’re a better special teams player, I’m keeping you over maybe a better tight end or maybe a better running back because you’re going to dress on Sunday and maybe play 20 or 30 plays.”

Parmele did not survive the final roster cut in Arizona, but was signed for the Cardinals’ Week 3 game against San Francisco, where he earned his lone carry before being released again.

With the depth that the Browns are building at the running back position, it seems likely that both Flanders and Parmele will only be in camp until the regulars get healthy.