Mon, 22 Oct 2018
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Pittsburgh

Browns sign K Joseph, release Gonzalez

Sports Xchange
18 Sep 2018, 08:30 GMT+10

The Cleveland Browns signed rookie Greg Joseph to replace fellow kicker Zane Gonzalez on Monday, one day after the latter missed two field-goal attempts and two extra-point tries in a hard-luck 21-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Head coach Hue Jackson confirmed the news on Joseph and Gonzalez.

Joseph, who kicked with Florida Atlantic, was released by the Miami Dolphins this summer despite making all three of his field-goal attempts and two extra-point tries in four preseason games. He joined Blair Walsh and Cairo Santos among others to try out for the Browns on Monday.

Joseph now must be ready to kick for Thursday's game against the New York Jets.

"Let's be honest, it is a quick turnaround," Jackson said. "These are the decisions that we make that we think are the best thing for the team and rightfully so. Obviously, we have to find someone that can put the ball through the uprights. We have had this situation happen now for a couple of weeks. We have to keep searching and keep looking.

"We felt real good about his workout. He did an excellent job. A young player, he has the chance hopefully to be very consistent as we move forward. He has a strong leg obviously, too. He fits all the criteria that we are looking for in a kicker. We feel good about him, and obviously, he has to go do it."

Gonzalez had been nursing a groin injury that required an MRI on Monday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

"I knew nothing about an injury whatsoever so that was new to me," Jackson said.

The 23-year-old Gonzalez missed his second extra-point attempt to keep the score tied at 18 during the fourth quarter on Sunday. He then missed a 52-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining to effectively end the game.

"I was cussing myself out in my head," said Gonzalez, who also missed a 44-yard field goal attempt. "I was really upset about it, but like I said, it is on me 100 percent, and I can't be too mad at myself and I can't blame it on anyone else. It (stinks) because we were so close to that win and it has been so long, and I just let everybody down."

Gonzalez also missed a potential game-winning kick with 13 seconds remaining in overtime in the Browns' season-opening 21-21 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Saints kicker Wil Lutz crossed the field and consoled Gonzalez on the bench following Sunday's game.

"It's a nasty, nasty business when it comes to that," Lutz said. "I hate it for him. He's one heck of a kicker. I know him personally. He's done an amazing job every time I've been around him. I really hate that for him."

Walsh made 21 of 29 field-goal attempts in 16 games last season with the Seattle Seahawks. The 28-year-old has drilled 154 of 187 attempts in 89 career games with the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, with whom he spent his first five NFL seasons.

Santos, who was released by the New York Jets in August, was an undrafted free agent out of Tulane and began his career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014. He was released early last season by the Chiefs, kicked in two games for the Chicago Bears and placed on injured reserve because of a groin injury.

For his career, Santos has converted 90 of 107 field-goal attempts and 127 of 132 extra-point tries.

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