JoJo Natson, Wide Receiver/Punt Returner
JoJo Natson is in his second season with the Cleveland Browns, but after suffering a season-ending injury early in 2020, this year was his first real chance to show why he deserves to be on Cleveland’s roster. While he only has two catches in his career thus far, his experience as a punt and kick returner is what the Browns really hoped to get from him.
However, in his absence in 2020, and so far in the 2021 preseason, the Browns have seemed to find a few alternatives that may be better suited in those roles previously reserved for Natson, making him a likely casualty when it comes to cut-down day this week.
In Sunday’s game against the Falcons, it was first Demetric Felton that was back deep to receive the Falcons’ punt. He was then followed by fellow wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones on the next Atlanta punt. Both players advanced the ball well on their returns, with an average return of 10 yards after the first two returns.
When Natson was the return man on Atlanta’s third punt, however, he only netted two yards. He also had several passes thrown his way in the second half, and was unable to complete any of the catches.
All-in-all, Natson is a one-dimensional player, and there are other players on the Browns’ roster that can fit the role he can, as well as others. While Natson fills one hole on the roster, players like Peoples-Jones, Felton, and even running back D’ernest Johnson are better suited to make the roster and fill multiple roles.
With the Browns having so much talent on their roster, the cuts are going to be difficult. While Natson is both a locker room and a fan favorite, it comes down to being able to provide a role at multiple positions. Since he does neither, it appears that Natson’s time in a Browns uniform is over.