The Cleveland Browns will be without wide receiver Davone Bess for the final two games of the regular season after he was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.
Cleveland announced the roster move after Bess missed practice during the week:
The Browns have placed WR Davone Bess on reserve/non-football illness, the team has announced.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 21, 2013
Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports that the slot wideout is dealing with personal issues and won't be active in either of the Browns' last two contests:
Receiver Davone Bess was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list Saturday for personal reasons and won’t play in the final two games.
Bess is dealing with family issues, according to a league source. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday and had been listed as questionable on the injury report.
Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland adds that a source states the problems causing Bess to remain away from the team have nothing to do with illegal activity:
Source says WR Davone Bess problems have nothing to do with any illegal activities.— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) December 21, 2013
The Browns acquired Bess from the Miami Dolphins during the offseason. He was expected to take on an important role within the Cleveland offense as the slot receiver with Josh Gordon and Greg Little on the outside.
Things didn't go according to plan. Bess struggled mightily with drops, which played a key role in his lackluster numbers, including just 42 catches on 86 targets through 14 weeks. He also racked up fewer than 370 yards and only two touchdowns.
And he had the second-most drops per target in the league, according to Ben Volk:
Most drops per target by a WR: 1. Kenny Britt 2. Davone Bess 3. Darrius Heyward-Bey 4. Aaron Dobson 5. Brian Quick #FantasyFootball— Ben Volk (@NFLBen) December 20, 2013
Beyond the aforementioned reports, which conclude that Bess is dealing with family issues not related to any sort of illegal activity, it's unclear exactly what is causing him to miss the remaining games. More information will be passed along once it's made public.
In the meantime, Josh Cooper will be expected to step into a larger role against the New York Jets. The second-year receiver hasn't made a catch this season after making eight grabs as a rookie. He should also see plenty of snaps with the Browns without Jordan Cameron due to injury this week.
The team didn't announce when further information about Bess would be available.