The Browns promoted wide receiver Tori Gurley from the practice squad to the active roster on the eve of their regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins, the team announced today.
The Browns also confirmed they waived undrafted rookie running back Dennis Johnson after a league source told the Beacon Journal that the team was releasing Johnson today.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Gurley, a two-year letterman at the University of South Carolina, spent training camp with the Browns this summer before being waived and then added to the practice squad on Sept. 2. He spent time on the practice squads of the Minnesota Vikings (three weeks), San Diego Chargers (three weeks), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two weeks) and Oakland Raiders (two weeks) last year after spending the entire 2011 season on the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers.
The Browns now have five receivers on the active roster heading into their opener Sunday against the Dolphins: Gurley, Greg Little, Davone Bess, Travis Benjamin and Josh Cooper. Josh Gordon, the team’s No. 1 receiver, is suspended for the first two regular-season games because he violated the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
The addition of Gurley will give the Browns the depth and insurance they might want in the event they choose to use Benjamin as a kickoff returner Sunday. Benjamin is the team’s primary punt returner, but he said he thinks he’ll also probably return some kickoffs against the Dolphins. Free safety Johnson Bademosi and running back Bobby Rainey are other candidates to return kickoffs.
The Browns claimed Johnson off waivers from the Houston Texans on Sunday and listed him third on their depth chart at running back and kickoff returner. The Browns have Rainey listed second on the depth chart behind starting running back Trent Richardson, and Chris Ogbonnaya is expected to have a dual role as a fullback and tailback.
In the preseason with the Texans, Johnson had 33 carries for 129 yards (3.9 average) and one touchdown to go along with five receptions for 31 yards. The 5-7, 193-pound Johnson starred as a running back and a kickoff returner for the University of Arkansas.