The Cleveland Browns signed rookie wide receiver Josh Cooper off the practice squad on Friday, a move that corresponded with putting Jordan Norwood on injured reserve. The Browns wide receiver corps has been hit hard by injury in recent weeks, but Norwood's injury popped up this week unexpectedly. He's on crutches and in a walking boot. The possession receiver was already filling in and helping out with Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi nursing hamstring issues.
The injury problems forced the Browns to dip into the practice squad, promoting Cooper to play alongside his college quarterback, Brandon Weeden, once again. Cooper was a top target for Weeden at Oklahoma State, and he distinguished himself in the preseason, earning a practice squad roster spot. He has been practicing with the first team recently and talked about his preparation and familiarity with Weeden (via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal):
"He usually knows where I'm going to be, and I know where he's going to put the ball," Cooper said. "So, yeah, he depends on me, and I'll be in the right spot for him. We developed that in college, and he just knows when I'm going to come out of a route and where I'll be."
There was some uncertainty about whether Cooper would be activated, with initial reports (and quotes from Josh Cribbs) denied by the team on Thursday. Benjamin returned to practice on Friday, but was significantly limited.
Instead, it was Norwood's injury that opened up the spot for Cooper. Norwood's season is not over, however, as the Browns put him on the new short-term IR that designates him for return. He'll be able to return to practice in six weeks and play in games in eight weeks.