With three running backs testing positive for COVID-19, the Browns have a problem at the position.
Apparently, they tried to help solve it with Royce Freeman.
Per Field Yates of ESPN, Cleveland put in a waiver claim on the running back, who was waived by the Panthers on Monday. But the Texans had a higher priority in the claiming order, which is why Freeman is off to Houston.
Freeman appeared in eight games for the Panthers, taking 21 carries for 77 yards. He also caught three passes for 15 yards and played a handful of special teams snaps.
D'Ernest Johnson, who rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown against Denver in Week Seven, is the only running back currently on the club’s 53-man roster. Kareem Hunt is eligible to come off injured reserve this week after missing the last three games with a calf injury. But it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to play.
This is the second time this season a team in the AFC North has tried to acquire Freeman on the waiver wire but lost out to a team higher on the priority list. When the Broncos waived Freeman in September, the Ravens put in a claim for him after they’d lost several running backs to injuries.
Freeman has 1,264 career rushing yards in 54 games with eight starts. He was a Broncos third-round pick in 2018 and rushed for a career high 521 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie.
Now in Houston, he’s reunited with his former Broncos teammate Phillip Lindsay.