Ending the NFL preseason as the league’s top receiver didn’t win Austin Watkins Jr. a roster spot.
And when the Cleveland Browns waived him, no other team picked him up off the wire.
But, as first noted by Brad Stainbrook, Cleveland wasted no time getting Watkins back into the fold.
— Brad Stainbrook (@StainbrookNFL) August 30, 2023
Watkins was among the first players signed to the Browns practice squad.
The wideout caught 16 passes for 257 yards and a pair of touchdowns in four games.
Any chance he had to stick on the main roster ended with the decision to carry only six wide receivers.
Marquise Goodwin’s return to health meant the veteran earned the final spot.
But Watkins could see action if Goodwin is still limited on opening day.
Cleveland signed 15 players, including 12 of their own final cuts, to the practice squad.
Jaelon Darden, sidelined for the whole preseason, was the only other wide receiver to rejoin the team.
Running back Hassan Hall and former Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker join the offensive players on the squad.
Guard Michael Dunn and defensive tackle Trystan Hill are among the veterans to sign on.
#Browns will add G Michael Dunn and DT Maurice Hurst II back to the active roster after they place LB Jordan Kunaszyk and probably DE Alex Wright on short-term injured reserve
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 30, 2023
Cleveland also picked rookie cornerback Kahlef Hailassie off waivers and waived AJ Green to make room.
Jordan Kunaszyk is expected to move to the IR when able.
Tommy Togiai (Jaguars) and Cade York (Titans) are among the former Browns to sign with other teams.