Browns: Jerome Ford could cost Jakeem Grant his job

A recent report says Jerome Ford will retain kick-returning duties which makes it all but impossible for Jakeem Grant to make it to the Cleveland Browns 53-man roster
Cleveland Browns v Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns v Buffalo Bills / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Jerome Ford has support from the Cleveland Browns coaching staff as they've done very little to add depth to the running back corps despite Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson both leaving this offseason.

Cleveland has elected to roll with Ford as the No. 2 running back behind Nick Chubb, despite his lack of experience. And there are no true contenders with Demetric Felton, John Kelly, Nate McCrary, and Hassan Hall as the only other options.

With an expanded role in the cards, it was assumed that Ford wouldn't be utilized in the return game as much during his second season in the NFL. According to running back coach Stump Mitchell, that's not going to be the case. Via Anthony Poisal of the team's official website, Mitchell says Ford has been the No. 1 returner in camp and that will still be part of his job.

"One thing Mitchell also noted about Ford's likely expanded role was that his kick return duties, which he was given last year because the Browns wanted to find ways to put the ball in his hands beyond rushing plays, will still be part of his job."


As a rookie, Ford gained 723 yards on 30 kick returns and while he never took one to the house, his explosiveness was evident. He also showed enough promise that Cleveland might be confident in moving on from Jakeem Grant.

Browns depth at WR hurts Jakeem Grant's chances

It was already going to be hard to justify keeping Grant, a former Pro Bowl returner who is coming off an Achilles injury. Grant, who is listed as a wide receiver, won't be cracking the lineup over Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, or Marquise Goodwin. He might not even be able to surpass David Bell or Cedric Tillman.

This means he would solely be a return man and with a deep roster, that's hard to justify. Especially when there's another in-house option that will already be active on game days.

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