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Jakeem Grant Sr. Is Out For The Season, Who Will Replace Grant?

The Cleveland Browns signed All-Pro return specialist Jakeem Grant Sr. to a three-year, $10 million contract in the offseason in an attempt to improve their return game. Based on the contract, the Cleveland front office obviously prioritized upgrading the return game heading into 2022.

Unfortunately, Cleveland got bad news when Grant went down during Tuesday's practice with an Achilles injury and needed to be carted off the field.

The return game was obviously a source of concern for Cleveland in 2021. Anthony Schwartz served as the team's primary kick returner last season and finished 22nd in the league with an average of 21.5 yards per return. Demetric Felton handled most of the punt returns and averaged just 7.1 yards per return, just 24th in the league.

 

Will Jakeem Grant Miss The 2022 Season?

Grant went for an MRI on Wednesday, confirming a ruptured left Achilles tendon. He was soon after placed on injured reserve and will be scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery to repair the tendon. Achilles injuries of this nature generally knock a player out of action for at least a year, although running backs Cam Akers and James Robinson have returned to action much sooner.

Grant's absence not only hurts Cleveland in the return game, but the team also plans to use him as a wide receiver during the season. Participating in receiver drills is actually what got Grant injured as he went up for a ball in a one-on-one drill against cornerback A.J. Green. Grant had shown a nice command of the route tree in camp before the injury.

What Will Cleveland Do Now?

With Grant out for the year, Cleveland is expected to return to second-year running back Demetric Felton as their primary return man. As mentioned above, Felton was not effective in that role in 2021.

It's easy to write off the struggles as rookie growing pains, but it is also possible that Felton won't be able to show much improvement as a sophomore. Felton isn't particularly explosive or fast (4.64 40-yard dash), so he could simply be limited in this facet of the game.

Nonetheless, fantasy gamers who play in deep dynasty leagues that award points for return yards will want to consider Felton as a player who should be a cheap source of return yardage in 2022.



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