The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for their 2022 season which starts on September 11 against the Carolina Panthers.
Ironically, they will be going up against former Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield who they traded in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
But coming into their campaign, the Browns will have to find a replacement for one of their key players.
Follow-up tests confirmed that #Browns WR Jakeem Grant suffered a torn Achilles, per source. Crushing blow for the Browns and Grant, who had been a training camp standout
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 10, 2022
ESPN’s Jake Trotter tweeted, “Follow-up tests confirmed that #Browns WR Jakeem Grant suffered a torn Achilles, per source. Crushing blow for the Browns and Grant, who had been a training camp standout.”
It’s such a pain for the Browns to lose one of their important players on special teams, especially after he signed a three-year contract during the offseason.
Grant was set to lead a Browns unit that averaged 20.7 yards per kickoff return and racked up 828 yards on 40 attempts.
Personally, the former Texas Tech standout played 15 games and averaged 23.4 yards per kickoff return last season with Chicago and Miami.
He also ranked fifth in punt returns last season at 11.9 yards per attempt.
His ability to gain yardage in those situations can put the Browns in a favorable field position.
But without him, they might be pinned down deep into their opponent’s territory.
Who Could Take Over For Grant?
With Grant sidelined, running back Demetric Felton Jr. is the team’s top candidate for punt and kick returner.
Before bringing in Grant, Felton was the team’s designated return guy, as shown during last season’s training camp.
He will fill that role now that the return of the two-time Second-Team All-Pro is indefinite.
Last season, Felton averaged 19.1 yards per kickoff return in nine attempts.
He also posted a punt return average of 7.1 yards per try.
Aside from Felton, other players like Derrick Dillon and Isaiah Weston could also get a shot at returning kicks.