Browns sign Greg Joseph to replace Zane Gonzalez

Gonzalez reportedly kicked Sunday with a groin injury which was news to Hue Jackson

Daryl Ruiter
September 17, 2018 - 1:39 pm
Miami Dolphins kicker Greg Joseph at training camp at the team's training facility in Davie, Fla., on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (Photo by Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA)

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns signed rookie kicker Greg Joseph to replace Zane Gonzalez on Monday.

Gonzalez, who was waived to make room for Joseph, missed 2 PATs and 2 field goals, including a 52-yarder in the closing seconds that would’ve tied the game, in the second half in the 21-1 loss at New Orleans Sunday.

"We felt real good about his workout. He did an excellent job," head coach Hue Jackson said. "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.”

The missed kicks cost the Browns an opportunity to end their now 19-game winless streak dating back to Dec. 24, 2016.

"There is not one that stings more than the other to be honest with you," Jackson said. "These things are tough, but we are getting through it. I do not think they are any different. It is a loss. It still counts as a loss, and we have got to get that righted."

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gonzalez had been kicking with a groin injury, which has gone undisclosed. Gonzalez never appeared on the team’s injury report and it is unclear if Gonzalez kept the injury to himself.

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

Joseph is a rookie out of Florida Atlantic University that did not make the Miami Dolphins team. He hit all 3 of his field goals – 33, 48 and 54 yards – during the preseason for the Dolphins.  

Jackson is confident that they'll be able to get Joseph ready in time for Thursday's game against the Jets. 

"We are going to try to give him as much as we can," Jackson said. "Obviously, we have to get him with (P) Britton Colquitt who is the holder and Charley (Hughlett) who is the long snapper and short snapper on field goals and PAT snapper. We just have to work through it and get him as much time as we need to make sure they are on the same page and see if we can get this young man kicking for us on Thursday night and be successful."

Over 4 seasons at FAU Joseph made 57 of 82 field goal attempts and 165 of 170 PATs in 50 games combined.

Cleveland selected Gonzalez in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He made 15 of 20 field goals and 25 of 26 extra points as a rookie but was 3-5 on PATs and 2 of 5 on field goals in the first 2 games combined this season. 

"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."