Updated at 4:50 p.m.
The Browns went searching for a running back and found one they already knew in Thomas Clayton. They signed Clayton and made room on the roster by waiving wide receiver Brian Robiskie, a second-round draft pick in 2009, the team announced today.
Robiskie, who's pictured to the left, entered this season as a starter, but he lost playing time in recent weeks with the emergence of rookie Greg Little. Robiskie had three catches for 25 yards this season. He was active this past Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but he did not play.
Robiskie, 23, played in 31 games and started 14 since former Browns coach Eric Mangini drafted him 36th overall out of Ohio State. He compiled 39 receptions for 441 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were scored in the final three games of last season.
The Browns held tryouts for running backs today because Montario Hardesty tore a calf muscle this past Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers and Peyton Hillis has been inactive for the past two games with a pulled hamstring. Clayton, who appeared in two games with the Browns last season and spent the 2011 preseason with the Seattle Seahawks before being cut, emerged as the team's choice. He is expected to join Chris Ogbonnaya in the backfield until either Hardesty or Hillis can return.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Clayton, 27, spent training camp in 2010 with the New England Patriots before being signed to the Browns' practice squad on Sept. 15. He spent two weeks with Cleveland before being signed to New England's active roster on Sept. 30. Clayton was inactive for two games with the Patriots before being waived on Oct. 23 and claimed by the Browns a few days later. The Browns later waived Clayton on Dec. 1, and he ended up with the Patriots again. He played in New England's regular-season finale, rushing six times for 17 yards.
Drafted by the 49ers in the sixth round (186th overall) in 2007 , Clayton, who's pictured to the right, spent his entire rookie season and the first 14 weeks of the 2008 season on the 49ers' practice squad before being elevated to the team's 53-man roster for its final two games. He spent the entire 2009 season on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL.