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Browns designate C Ethan Pocic to return from injured reserve

Pocic had been on IR since suffering a knee injury in Week 11 against the Bills

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The Browns on Tuesday designated C Ethan Pocic to return from injured reserve, starting the process for him to rejoin the team for the first time since he suffered a knee injury in Week 11 against the Bills.

A sixth-year veteran who signed with the Browns as a free agent last offseason, Pocic had played at an excellent level before his injury and was ranked by Pro Football Focus among the top centers in the league with an 83.0 overall grade. He still ranks third among centers with that grade and is also fourth among NFL centers with an 84.3 run block grade.

Despite the injury, Pocic had already built perhaps the best season of his career and fit in well playing between Pro Bowl guard duo Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller. The Browns ranked near the top of the league rankings in rushing efficiency before Pocic's injury and currently sit fifth in the league with an average of 149 rushing yards per game.

Pocic's big season had been a boost to an offensive line that lost its starting center, Nick Harris, to a season-ending ACL injury in the Browns' first preseason game against the Jaguars.

Pocic is now eligible to return to practice this week and take some of his first practice reps of the season with QB Deshaun Watson, whose 11-game suspension ended in Week 13 while Pocic was on injured reserve. He'll remain off the active roster until he's officially reinstated from injured reserve.

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