David Njoku Put on IR by Browns with Knee Injury; Kicker Cody Parkey Signed

Jenna CiccotelliContributor ISeptember 14, 2020

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku catches a pass during practice at the NFL football team's training facility Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

After Sunday's 38-6 loss at Baltimore, the Cleveland Browns made a pair of significant roster changes, placing tight end David Njoku on injured reserve and waiving kicker Austin Seibert in favor of Cody Parkey, who was signed off the practice squad (h/t ESPN). 

Njoku, who had 50 yards on three receptions and scored the Browns' lone touchdown on Sunday, has a sprained MCL, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 24-year-old will miss at least three weeks per NFL rules, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said "he should be back sooner rather than later."

A first-round pick by the Browns in 2017, Njoku played in just four games last season after he broke his wrist and suffered a concussion in Week 2. In the offseason, Cleveland signed Austin Hooper and drafted Harrison Bryant to add depth at tight end, and the pair will step up to fill the hole made by Njoku's absence. On Sunday, Hooper made two catches for 15 yards, and the rookie Bryant had one five-yard reception.

While it certainly didn't make a major difference in Sunday's 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, kicker Austin Seibert missed an extra point and a field goal. The Browns' fifth-round pick in 2019 out of Oklahoma, Seibert made 25 of 29 field goals during his career and missed five extra points in 35 total attempts. 

Parkey has appeared in 68 games over six seasons in the league, most recently behind Adam Vinatieri on the Colts last season, where he appeared in three games and was 3-3 on field goal attempts, with a 51-yard kick the longest, missed one of six extra points attempted.

He signed a four-year contract with Chicago in 2018, where he had a chance to win the NFC Wild Card game against the Eagles but missed the critical field goal in what became known as the Double Doink. He was released by the Bears in February 2019, having missed three extra points and eight field goals in his first season with the team.

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The 28-year-old Auburn product appeared in 14 games for Cleveland in 2016, where he kicked 20 field goals in 25 attempts and made all but one extra point in 21 attempts after Patrick Murray was injured.