BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Browns starting linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. will miss at least three games with a hamstring injury, a loss that will have a ripple effect through Cleveland’s defense.
Walker, who signed as a free agent in March after four seasons with Indianapolis, got hurt during Thursday’s practice. He led Cleveland with nine tackles in last week’s 33-29 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and he’s also the Browns’ signal-caller on defense.
Cleveland hosts Houston in its home opener Sunday.
Any player going on IR must sit out a minimum of three games before he can be activated.
Walker watched Friday’s practice from the side as the Browns (0-1) continued to get ready for the Texans (1-0).
Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. was also out and is expected to miss Sunday’s game with an ankle injury sustained in the first quarter last week. Wills has not practiced this week and his backup, Chris Hubbard (triceps), didn’t practice for the third day in a row.
With Wills and Hubbard out, rookie James Hudson III, a fourth-round pick from Cincinnati, will likely make his NFL debut.
Center JC Tretter (ankle) returned to practice after being held out for two days.
Mack Wilson would seem to be the most likely candidate to take over for Walker. Cleveland also has Malcolm Smith and Elijah Lee as potential replacements.
The Browns are working out former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, but he’s not expected to sign with the team.
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