Andrew Berry reached out to a familiar face to help fill the linebacker’s room.
Sione Takitaki is also sidelined with what is believed to be a minor hamstring issue.
And Mack Wilson is practicing with a slightly strained shoulder.
Confirming that the #Browns are signing LB Willie Harvey Jr. He was with the team in 2019 and spent time on the practice squad before being waived last September.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) August 20, 2021
Harvey signed on as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State prior to the 2019 season.
He was active for 2 games that season, replacing an injured Christian Kirksey before joining Kirksey on IR.
Harvey was released before the 2020 season and has been a free agent since then.
Cleveland released running back Corey Taylor to make room for Harvey on the roster.
Taylor was signed last week and showed some power running late in the first preseason game.
What It Means to The Browns
Kevin Stefanski and Joe Woods hope Harvey will be a quick study and contribute immediately.
His time in last season’s training camp should give the linebacker a head start.
Stefanski does not seem anxious to play his starting veteran players much in preseason games.
It remains to be seen whether Mack Wilson will play against the Giants.
We've elevated LB Willie Harvey from the practice squad and placed LB Christian Kirksey on injured reserve
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 21, 2019
He returned to the practice field this week after leaving the Jaguars game with a shoulder strain.
Likewise, there is no report on then severity of Takitaki’s hamstring injury.
But even if it is minor, the team would probably prefer not to put him in a game situation too early.
Cutting Taylor instead of the injured Phillips could indicate the team is not certain if his biceps injury ends his season.
If the team carries Phillips into September, they can put him on IR with a chance to return later in the year.
What It Means To Harvey
Willie Harvey is under no illusion of being handed a regular season roster spot.
But this is an opportunity to show other teams he is in shape and ready to contribute.
Harvey recently tried out for the New England Patriots.
He was invited back for a second visit last week, but did not sign with the team.
In his first preseason camp with Cleveland, he had a highlight play on defense.
— Browns Replay (@BrownsReplay) August 17, 2019
It happened against the Colts on a 4th-and-1 play on the Browns 10 yard line with 43 seconds to go.
Harvey charged the passer from the left outside linebacker spot and knocked away an attempted outlet pass.
In the regular season, he saw 17 special teams snaps and was credited with one tackle.
Cleveland is still looking for the right combination of kick and punt coverage players.
With a little luck, Harvey’s second chance will keep his NFL dreams alive.