Cleveland Browns Claim Defensive Backs Gaines, Whitehead Off Waivers

Jermaine Whitehead
Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America via

Secondary depth is a need for the Cleveland Browns. E.J Gaines is now on injured reserve. Denzel Ward could also miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Browns claimed Phillip Gaines off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. Cleveland also claimed Jermaine Whitehead off waivers from the Green Bay Packers.

Whitehead is an interesting claim. The Packers cut Whitehead following his ejection last Sunday night against the New England Patriots.

Whitehead is 5-11, 195 pounds and in his third NFL season out of Auburn. Originally signed by San Francisco as an undrafted free agent in 2015, Whitehead has appeared in 19 games with the Packers from 2016-18. He has totaled 17 tackles, two passes defensed and one sack. He appeared in seven games with two starts this season.

Gaines is 6-0, 193 pounds and in his fifth NFL season out of Rice. Originally selected by Kansas City in the third round in 2014, Gaines has appeared in 48 career games with 22 starts. He has totaled 126 tackles, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception. He spent four years (2014-17) with the Chiefs before signing with Buffalo, where he started six of his seven games and recorded 30 tackles this season.

To make room on the roster, defensive back Denzel Rice was waived by the Browns. Rice appeared in eight games. He recorded three special teams tackles in addition to an interception.

Cleveland will need as many healthy defensive backs as possible for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. Atlanta boasts one of the best receiving offenses in the NFL. Wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are tough to defend in addition to Julio Jones. Austin Hooper is also emerging as one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league.

Scott Piker is the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians Managing Editor for Full Press So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport


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