While the punt unit blocking would need to be reenforced, the Cleveland Browns may also have to contend with an injured Spencer Lanning. Aaron Wilson of National Football Post reports that the Browns held tryouts for three different punters this week, bringing in Zoltan Mesko, T.J. Conley and Robert Malone. None of the three were immediately signed.
Lanning was the victim of shoddy interior blocking this past Sunday, leading to a punt being deflected and another being fully blocked and returned for a touchdown. He has been participating fully in practice this week, but has been listed with a left knee injury. Lanning has a 44.9 average and a 38.0 net, ranking 26th among NFL punters. Earlier this season, Lanning was named Special Teams Player of the Week after he had a solid showing as a punter, but also threw for a touchdown pass as well as converting an extra point.
Earlier this week, Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski put the special teams unit on notice.
“I’m disappointed in our performance as a team,” said Chudzinski. “Simply had too many mistakes and critical errors, particularly in the second quarter… Our veterans have to play better, our young guys have to play better and it needs to happen right away.”
A former punter for New England Patriots, Mesko was last with the Pittsburgh Steelers this season before being released and replaced by Mat McBriar. He went to high school in Cleveland and college at The School Up North.