DE Porter Gustin
Arguably the biggest surprise of all the cuts was Porter Gustin. He was seen by many as being a lock for the team, especially with the state of the Browns defensive line, but the team opted to cut him. After being released, Gustin was brought back as a member of the practice squad.
The team had only retained three defensive ends by the end of the preseason, but have since brought back Joe Jackson, who had a good preseason, as did Gustin.
Ahead of them, there are some concerns. Myles Garrett is an elite-level pass rusher but has had a history of missing games. They’re all for different reasons it seems, but of the possible 64 regular-season games, Garrett has only played 51. A few of those were due to COVID, then there was his suspension and various minor injuries around, so not one underlying issue. That said, there is a universal pattern going on here. Whether it’s the Football Gods, just bad luck, or maybe Courtney Browns is deliberately trying to ruin Garrett’s career, who can say; all we know is that Garrett is almost guaranteed to miss a game or two.
Then you have Jadeveon Clowney, who has only played a full season once in his career and has had a history of nagging injuries. It’s entirely possible that the league has already seen the best Jadeveon Clowney there is. Who knows what we’re going to be getting from him in 2021.
Then you have Takkarist McKinley, who missed just about all of the preseason and really didn’t do anything worth making the team. McKinley is another player almost guaranteed to miss time, as he’s missed 15 games over the last three years, 12 last year.
Now, all three men may do very well with the Browns, this isn’t to imply otherwise. This is merely to state that there could be anywhere from three to eight games this year where a fourth defensive end may be needed, and that’s assuming Jackson can stay healthy and keep his spot. Gustin is very likely to play this year.