The Browns were hit hard after their starting pitcher was injured.

Riley Patterson was again cut by the Lions and placed on waivers over Christmas. After making over 88 percent of his field goal attempts this season, the junior is back in action. The Browns added Patterson to their practice squad on Monday after he spent most of Week 16 without a tackle.

Dustin Hopkins suffered a hamstring injury against Texas and will be out for Thursday night’s game against the Browns. Hopkins, who was acquired by the Browns after Cade York struggled in the preseason, played in all 15 games for Cleveland this season. Patterson started 13 games for Detroit this year, but the 24-year-old lost his job with the Lions for the second time after a constant battle with Michael Badgley.

Detroit also waived Patterson before the 2022 season. After spending the 2022 season with the Jaguars, Patterson returned to the Lions in a deal that included a late-round pick after joining Jacksonville great Brandon McManus. Patterson was 15-of-17 on field goals and 35-of-37 on extra points in the second game against the Lions, but Badgley, who finished last season as Detroit’s starter, actually outplayed him. Badgley has scored touchdowns in the Lions’ last two games.Hopkins, 33, re-signed with the Chargers last year but missed 12 games.

Cameron Dicker beat the Bolts in training camp. With Cleveland, Hopkins made 91.7 percent of his field goals, which is good for 33 attempts in the NFL. He is 24 and 26 on PAT. The former Washington and Los Angeles standout ended last year on IR with a hamstring injury, and his recent illness has raised eyebrows for the Browns. This is the franchise’s third playoff appearance since its relaunch in 1999.

If the Browns place Hopkins on IR, that could keep him out for the rest of the regular season and a few playoff games, depending on how well he progresses Cleveland’s season. Because of Badgley’s performance in quality practices, this move of P gives the Browns proven insurance.

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