So how did the Browns end up signing a guy with a torn ACL from the Packers’ practice squad?
The guy in question, receiver Charles Johnson, had a torn ACL that no one knew about.
When a player is signed from another team’s practice squad, a physical isn’t given before the player joins the team. It’s presumed that, if the player is practicing with another team, he’s healthy.
As surmised by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson may have torn the ACL on the second day of training camp. The injury was deemed to be a tear of the IT band; Johnson later said he sprained his MCL.
There’s a chance Johnson will revert back to the Packers’ practice squad, given that the injury happened before the Browns signed him.
While the story of the Browns signing a guy with a torn ACL to replace a guy with a torn ACL seemed at first blush like the latest product of the Factory of Sadness, the Browns didn’t do anything that any other team wouldn’t have done. Somehow, Johnson and the Packers didn’t know he had a torn ACL, which means that the Browns ended up plucking from the practice squad a player who, unbeknownst to anyone, was damaged goods.