There are plenty of reasons to celebrate the Cleveland Browns’ 27-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but Jedrick Wills’ knee injury isn’t one of them. The veteran offensive tackle was knocked out of the game twice and will now likely miss up to the next six weeks on the injured reserve, per NFL insider Tom Pelissero.
While Wills has struggled throughout the 2023 campaign, his injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. After all, the trade deadline was last Tuesday, meaning the list of replacement options isn’t that long.
Having said that, there’s good news for Browns fans. There just so happens to be one available free agent who could make losing Wills to the IR that much easier to swallow.
As of Monday, Nov. 6, veteran offensive tackle La’el Collins is still a free agent.
The 30-year-old blocker has been sitting in free agency ever since the Cincinnati Bengals released him on Sept. 12. He began the 2023 NFL season on the PUP list after tearing his ACL and MCL against the New England Patriots in Week 16. The cut was more likely due to financial reasons as it saved the Bengals about $7 million in cap space.
Collins was initially supposed to be back on the field in seven months, but his recovery has gone over that projection. Still, he’s one of the better OTs when he’s on his game, which is enough of a reason for the Browns to take a flier on him.
Although his only season with the Bengals didn’t go as planned, Collins still finished the year with a 73.5 run block grade on Pro Football Focus. He also recorded pass block grades of 86.4 and 82.0 in his final two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.
Considering how Wills owns a 54.0 overall PFF grade this season, it isn’t unfathomable to believe that a healthy Collins would greatly improve Cleveland’s offensive line situation.
For reference, the former LSU Tiger has finished with an overall grade of 72.5 or better in three of his last four seasons.
After Bleacher Report‘s Jordan Schultz revealed that Collins had “interest from nearly a dozen teams” back in September, the Browns must contact the free agent ASAP if they want to give the O-line a boost before it’s too late.
Browns fans should act before it’s too late too — you don’t want to miss out on your guaranteed $150 bonus from Bet365. Just wager $5 after signing up through the exclusive Factory of Sadness link below and you’ll automatically unlock the full $150 whether your bet wins or loses!
More Cleveland Browns news and rumors: