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


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


Maynard brings the Browns experience as a punter and he’s also a

dependable holder for Phil Dawson on extra points and field-goal


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.