Posted: 8:32 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
By Chris Pokorny
When the Cleveland Browns signed Billy Cundiff Tuesday to be their new kicker, they needed to make a roster move to stay at 53 players. Instead of waiving somebody, they decided to place offensive guard Jason Pinkston on the designated-to-return injured reserved list.
By rule, Pinkston will be eligible to start practicing again in Week 7. He can be activated to play in Week 9, which is when the Browns face the Baltimore Ravens for the second time this season. The Browns have a bye in Week 10, so they might opt to just have him return in Week 11.
Teams can only use the designated-to-return option on one player. It's not a bad decision to have used it on one of the injured offensive guards. Both Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao were projected to return around the same time, and Lauvao was favored by the coaching staff to start at the beginning of training camp. Assuming Lauvao doesn't get hurt again upon returning, the Browns should be able to get by with the likes of Oniel Cousins, Garrett Gilkey, or Patrick Lewis as their depth until Pinkston comes back.