CLEVELAND — Juan Thornhill’s Browns debut will have to wait.
The starting free safety was ruled out with a right calf injury for today’s opener vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Thornhill had been listed as questionable on the official injury report after not practicing Thursday and Friday. He worked out before the game, sprinting and doing agility drills, but didn’t like how the calf reacted.
General manager Andrew Berry, coach Kevin Stefanski and coordinator Jim Schwartz watched the workout and met with Thornhill afterward to make the decision. Thornhill signed a three-year, $21 million contract as a free agent in March after spending the first four years of his career with the Chiefs.
Veteran Rodney McLeod will replace Thornhill in the starting lineup.
McLeod, 33, is in his 12th season. He’s started 138 of 156 games, totaling 18 interceptions, 60 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries.
He started 15 games with the Colts last year, setting career highs with 96 tackles and eight for loss. He added two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, eight passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
“That’s why we went out and got Rodney. The ability to play, not even in this situation, just to play, period,” Stefanski said Friday. “Helps us on special teams, very good in the meeting room, unbelievable mentor to the young players. So obviously very happy we have him.”
The other inactives weren’t a surprise but included three draft picks.
Third-round defensive tackle Siaki Ika, fourth-round defensive end Isaiah McGuire and sixth-round center Luke Wypler were healthy scratches, along with undrafted rookie cornerback Kahlef Hailassie, who was claimed off waivers following the preseason.