So much for the depth on defense for the Cleveland Browns. Two key guys for interim head coach Gregg Williams are lost for the season. Linebacker Christian Kirksey and defensive back E.J. Gaines have been placed on injured reserve. The 2018 season is over for both guys.
Kirksey and Gaines both left Sunday’s 37-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half. Kirksey exited the contest due to a hamstring injury. Gaines left after suffering a concussion.
Kirksey served as one of the Browns team captains in 2018. His loss will greatly impact the performance of the linebackers for the remaining seven games. He started seven games this year. He registered 43 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Gaines is in his first season in Cleveland after signing with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent. He appeared in six games with two starts. He totaled 12 tackles, three passes defensed and one interception.
To replace Gaines on the active roster, the Browns signed defensive back Juston Burris off of the New York Jets practice squad. Burris was a 2016 fourth-round selection by the Jets and was added to the club’s practice squad after being waived on October 27. Appearing in 34 career games with two starts, Burris registered 28 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions since 2016. This season, he saw game action in four contests and was inactive for three.
In addition to those moves, the team signed defensive back Arrion Springs to the practice squad and released offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp from the practice squad.