BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns on Saturday signed wide receiver Charles Johnson off the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers. To make room on the 53-man roster, the Browns placed quarterback Brian Hoyer on season-ending injured reserve.
Johnson, a 6-2, 215-pound rookie from Grand Valley State, entered the NFL as the first of three Green Bay selections in the seventh round of April's draft. He played in the Packers' final two preseason contests before joining the team's practice squad Sept. 2.
In just two seasons at Division II Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich., Johnson averaged 17.4 yards per catch (128 receptions, 2,229 yards), with 31 touchdowns. A second-team All-American as a senior in 2012, he posted 1,199 yards on 72 receptions (16.7 avg.), with 16 touchdowns.
Johnson also played one season at both Eastern Kentucky (2007) and Antelope Valley College (2008). He was out of football in 2009. A four-sport athlete at Erlanger (Ky.) High School, he also played cornerback and safety.
NFL rules allow teams to add to their 53-man rosters players from other organization's practice squads. Seattle signed Cleveland offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann off the Browns' practice squad Sept. 23.
Hoyer, who helped to lead the team to a share of first place in the AFC North, became the first Cleveland quarterback to register wins in each of his first three NFL starts in a Browns uniform. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Oct. 3 vs. Buffalo and will undergo surgery next week at the Cleveland Clinic.
Including Johnson, the aggressive Browns since Aug. 27 have now added 12 players from other teams that have appeared on their 53-man roster.