It's yet another win for the Cleveland Browns, as they enjoy a three-game win streak after downing the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, but their smiles are dampened by injury news. The team lost safety Ronnie Harrison early in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, and he wouldn't return to the contest. Two days later, it's now being reported the veteran safety could be sidelined 4-6 weeks with the ailment, per Jake Trotter of ESPN, which puts him in danger of missing the remainder of the regular season entirely -- the hope being he can recover sooner than expected to return for a potential playoff bid.
The team has officially moved him to injured reserve, guaranteeing he'll miss a minimum of three games.
Currently, the Browns are 8-3 on the season and not mathematically excluded from somehow overtaking the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers to land the AFC North crown, also having one final matchup with the Steelers in Week 17. At the very least, they're heavily in the mix for a wild-card berth, and that's good news for Harrison, who might be available in January when he'd be needed most.
The secondary in Cleveland was looking forward to soon seeing the return of Pro Bowl cornerback Denzel Ward to join Harrison and Co. for the final stretch, but head coach Kevin Stefanski will have to figure out another configuration for the final run to the postseason. With the hopes of filling the void created by Harrison's injury, the Browns claimed safety Tedric Thompson off waivers on Monday.
Thompson, 25, is a former fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks (2017) that spent multiple seasons with Pete Carroll before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 as a free agent. Thompson has 16 starts and 37 total games under his NFL belt, having produced three interceptions, five pass break ups and 93 combined tackles for his career. He'll have to step in and step up quickly to fill Harrison's shoes, a player who has become a key piece for the Browns defense this season.
Harrison, 23, himself joined Cleveland in early 2020, a former third-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars who was traded to the Browns in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round pick. He has an interception, a defensive touchdown, a sack and 32 combined tackles in his first six starts (10 games) with the team.