On Monday, Kevin Stefanski revealed that Cleveland Browns projected starting kicker Cody Parkey was headed to the injured reserve with a significant quad injury. The organization has since reversed course and decided to let the veteran go.
According to Ari Meirov, the Browns released Parkey on Tuesday with an injury settlement. In doing so, Cleveland allows the 29-year-old kicker to sign with a different franchise once he’s healthy again. If he had remained on injured reserve, he would’ve missed the entire 2021 NFL season.
Parkey reportedly injured his quad during Sunday’s preseason match-up between the Browns and the Giants. It’s unclear exactly how severe the injury is or exactly when it occurred during the game, but it was clearly bad enough for Cleveland to move on from their experienced kicker.
Parkey took over the kicking duties for the Browns in Week 2 of the 2020 season and proved to be a steady presence. He made 19 of 22 field goals and 43 of 47 extra points in 15 games played.
The #Browns have released kicker Cody Parkey with an injury settlement. That allows him to sign with a different team once he’s healthy from his quad injury.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 24, 2021
With Parkey headed into recovery and then free agency, the Browns are left with Chase McLaughlin at the position. The former Illinois kicker and 2019 undrafted free agent appeared in 15 games over the last two seasons and has made 22 field goals on 28 attempts. He also connected on a 49-yard field goal Sunday against the Giants.
Stefanski and the Browns may explore other options at kicker at some point during the season, but at least for now the job will rest with McLaughlin.
“He’s battling,” Stefanski said of the 25-year-old. “He’s doing a nice job. Expect him to keep battling.”
McLaughlin will have one more chance to sharpen his skills in the preseason when the Browns play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night.
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