Browns on their third punter

Just over a month since losing punter Reggie Hodges to a
season-ending injury, the Cleveland Browns are already on his
second replacement.

One game, three punters.

The Browns signed 14-year veteran punter Brad Maynard on Tuesday
and placed Richmond McGee on injured reserve, two days after he
injured his back during pregame warmups before his NFL debut.

Maynard spent the past 10 seasons with the Chicago Bears, the
last three working with Browns first-year special teams coach Chris
Tabor. The 37-year-old Maynard was released by the Bears in July
and spent the exhibition season with Houston before the Texans
waived him on Sept. 3.

The Browns were in an emergency situation after McGee herniated
a disk in his back while kicking prior to Sunday’s season opener
against Cincinnati.

McGee’s agent David Canter said the 28-year-old’s back was so
bad during the game that he kicked without some feeling in his
legs. McGee had a major role in the Browns’ 27-17 loss, averaging
just 36 yards on eight punts. He shanked his first punt 20 yards,
later had kicks of 28 and 30 and was booed by Browns fans.

McGee said nothing about his back injury after the game, and
neither did Browns coach Pat Shurmur. On Monday, Shurmur indicated
the Browns were ”evaluating” McGee’s position but didn’t mention
any injury. It’s not clear if McGee told the Browns he was hurt
before or during the opener.

The Browns were forced to sign McGee in August after Hodges, one
of the AFC’s best punters last season, tore his Achilles during
practice.

Canter said McGee ”felt a twinge” while he was warming up on
the field Sunday but decided to play.

”He told me it got to the point during the game where he
couldn’t even feel his legs,” Canter said. ”I knew something was
wrong, either he was hurt or he had forgotten how to kick. I felt
bad for him because the fans were on him badly, so I called him
after the game and he told me what happened.”

Canter said McGee does not need surgery, but will seek a second
opinion.

Maynard brings the Browns experience as a punter and he’s also a
dependable holder for Phil Dawson on extra points and field-goal
attempts.

Maynard, drafted by the New York Giants in 1997, has averaged
41.9 yards per punt in his career. However his 40.1-yard average on
83 punts last season ranked him 32nd in the league, and his net
average of 35.2 was 29th overall.

Maynard has appeared in 223 career regular season games. In
2008, he led the league with 40 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Notes: The Browns announced they will induct former linebacker
Vince Costello (1957-66) and center Tom DeLeone (1974-84) into the
team’s Legends club. Costello and DeLeone will be honored during a
halftime of the Sept. 25 home game against Miami. The team created
the Legends program in 2001 to honor former players annually who
have made a major impact on the organization. Costello was on
Cleveland’s 1964 title team. DeLeone was selected to two Pro Bowls
and blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers.