Cleveland Browns: 5 Players who increased their stock in Preseason Week 2 Victory
3. LB Elijah Lee
The Browns defense is designed to use linebackers less than most teams, but this wasn’t exactly what Cleveland had in mind. The position group has all of a sudden become ravaged by injuries. Backup MIKE Jacob Phillips will miss the season, and now it seems like Montrel Meander may suffer the same fate.
Sione Takitaki missed the game due to a hamstring injury (joining the approximately 28 other Browns players dealing with hamstring issues), and rookie Tony Fields II hasn’t practiced in a while because of a foot injury and seems destined to land on injured reserve.
That left the team with five LBs to use on Sunday, and that number is a bit misleading since Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah started and didn’t play nearly as much as in Week 1. Lee actually went down on a play, but did return.
He was a core special teamer last season, but functioned as the Browns best linebacker against New York. With his special teams ability and the rash of injuries to the LB room, Lee just might hang around. He won’t play over JOK, Malcolm Smith, or Anthony Walker, but having quality depth is important, and the Browns would probably like to keep Lee around since they’ve lost other special teamers this offseason.