Familiar Face Returns to Browns' Practice Squad in Week 13

The Cleveland Browns have made a big change to their practice squad in Week 13 that features a familiar back returning.
Aug 3, 2023; Canton, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back John Kelly Jr. (41) carries the ball
Aug 3, 2023; Canton, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns running back John Kelly Jr. (41) carries the ball / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We're about to enter the final full month of the regular season, and that means playoff hopefuls are busy tweaking their rosters to finish strong down the stretch. The Cleveland Browns know how important having depth on standby is considering the injury woes they've been through in 2023.

Heading into Week 13, the Browns have decided to make a change at an important position on their practice squad -- and it just so happens to feature a familiar face's return.

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On Tuesday, Cleveland announced it released running back Kenyan Drake from its PS. Meanwhile, fellow RB John Kelly Jr. has been signed to take Drake's place, bringing the former back to the Dawg Pound.

Kelly is no stranger to being in the Browns' facility. He's been a mainstay on the team's practice squad since 2020 following his exit from the Los Angeles Rams. The University of Tennessee product managed to make five combined appearances in regular-season games for Cleveland between 2021 and 2022, totaling 110 yards from scrimmage.

There's any number of reasons why Kevin Stefanki's staff would decide to move on from Drake and bring back Kelly, though the latter's familiarity with the system probably played some role. He knows exactly what Stefanski and co. are looking from PS contributors, so he'll hope to bring exactly that to the table for the stretch run.

Cleveland's running back rotation is pretty set in stone with Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt leading the charge while Pierre Strong rounds this group out. The Browns know an injury could change their plans in instant, however, so it's nice to have a team veteran around in case of emergency.

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