The Cleveland Browns were able to grab the victory over the Washington Football Team in Week 3.
Sadly, they lost punt and kick returner JoJo Natson in the process.
The return specialist is done for the 2020 season after suffering a torn ACL on Sunday.
— The Dawgland (@thedawgland) September 28, 2020
Natson was a free agent that signed with Cleveland in March.
He spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams before joining the Browns this season.
Natson returned a kickoff for 31 yards and a punt for 11 in the 34-20 win over Washington on Sunday.
The Browns will quickly need to scramble to find another returner before their Week 4 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Could Donovan Peoples-Jones Step Up?
Cleveland is desperate to find a returner before Sunday’s contest, which doesn’t give them much time.
The obvious choice would be sixth-round pick Donovan Peoples-Jones out of Michigan.
He has been inactive for the first three weeks of the season, but could be the answer at returner.
Peoples-Jones returned punts for the Wolverines, so he does have plenty of experience there.
The speedy wide receiver has some of the quickest legs in the league.
79-YARDS TO THE 🏡
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 20, 2018
The Browns were impressed by Peoples-Jones during training camp.
However, the team decided to go with Natson at returner to begin the season.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski did not commit to Peoples-Jones being the returner going forward.
He mentioned that he wanted to speak with special teams coach Mike Priefer before making a final decision.
Can Peoples-Jones Get The Job?
The Browns do have a few options at returner that are already on the roster.
D’Ernest Johnson filled in for the team last week after Natson went down.
Cleveland also promoted Dontrell Hilliard to the active roster following the Natson injury.
The Hilliard promotion doesn’t guarantee Peoples-Jones won’t be the returner going forward.
Cleveland is likely covering all their bases and getting as many options possible on the table.
The Browns don’t have space for Peoples-Jones as a receiver right now.
His best chance to stay on the roster is as a returner specialist.
The organization might give Johnson and Hilliard a chance to impress them before turning to Peoples-Jones.
However, Peoples-Jones deserves a fair chance to earn the returner role in Cleveland.