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Browns sign former 1st-round pick Breshad Perriman to address receiver shortage, place Derrick Willies on IR

The Browns wasted no time in addressing their increasingly troublesome receiver situation.

They worked out former Ravens first-round pick Breshad Perriman on Saturday morning and quickly signed him to the 53-man roster.

To make room, undrafted rookie receiver Derrick Willies was placed on injured reserve. He broke his collarbone Friday in practice when he landed awkwardly.

Perriman (6-foot-2, 211 pounds) was the No. 26 pick of the Ravens in 2015 out of Central Florida. He wasn’t able to establish himself due to injuries and inconsistent play.

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He missed his rookie year in 2015 with a knee injury and returned the next season to play all 16 games with one start. He caught 33 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns. The production dropped off last season, as he caught 10 passes for 77 yards in 11 games, including three starts.

The Browns had questions at receiver following the trade of Josh Gordon to New England on Sept. 17, but injuries to Rashard Higgins and Willies made it an emergency. Higgins sprained his medial collateral ligament against the Ravens last week, was ruled out for the Chargers game Sunday and is expected to miss at least one more week.

The Browns have starters Jarvis Landry and rookie Antonio Callaway, with journeyman Rod Streater and sixth-round rookie Damion Ratley coming off the bench.

Perriman’s best trait is his speed. In his final year at Central Florida he caught 50 passes for 1,044 yards, a 20.9 average and nine touchdowns.

He will wear No. 19 with the Browns.

The Browns hosted former Cowboys star Dez Bryant on a visit during the preseason and worked out veteran Rishard Matthews on Monday but had elected to stick with their group of young wideouts. The back-to-back injuries necessitated a move.

Willies’ injury came at a terrible time, as he was slated to be the No. 3 receiver against the Chargers. He made his first three NFL catches last week in the overtime win against the Ravens, including a crucial 39-yarder that set up the winning field goal.

The broken collarbone will be further evaluated in the coming days to determine if he’ll miss the rest of the season or may be able to return.

A team can designate two players to return from injured reserve, and the designation doesn’t need to be made until the player is able to return to practice. A player placed on IR is eligible to return to practice in six weeks and must miss at least eight games.

** The Browns signed linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster (6-1, 220) to the practice squad and released cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon from the practice squad. Woodson-Luster appeared in 14 games with the Raiders last year.

** Fullback Danny Vitale was waived from injured reserve. He suffered a calf injury in training camp.

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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