CLEVELAND (AP) - Brett Ratliff got caught in a numbers game again. For the second time this season, he became Cleveland’s odd quarterback out.
The Browns waived the veteran QB on Tuesday, one of several moves on a busy day off for the club.
The team also waived punter Dave Zastudil, who had been on injured reserve with a knee injury, placed starting offensive guard Billy Yates on injured reserve with a biceps injury and signed defensive back Eric King and kick returner Clifton Smith.
Ratliff had returned to the Browns on Oct. 12, brought in to back up rookie Colt McCoy after both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace suffered ankle injuries. But with McCoy playing well and Delhomme and Wallace back at practice, the Browns could no longer afford the luxury of carrying four quarterbacks, so Ratliff became expendable.
A Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2008 for Tampa Bay, Smith was released earlier this season by Miami. He was brought in for a workout with the Browns on Tuesday and they were impressed with him. He played in two games this season before the Dolphins released him.
Smith ended last season on injured reserve because of a concussion. He was slowed in the preseason by gout, which went undiagnosed for several weeks.
Browns coach Eric Mangini is optimistic Cribbs will be able to practice this week. Last Sunday, rookie Joe Haden filled in as Cleveland’s primary returner. But with Brown hurt, Haden may have to start at corner and the Browns don’t want to also saddle him with return duties.
King has played in 56 NFL games during his career, which began in 2005 when he was drafted in the fifth round by Buffalo. He has also played for Tennessee and Detroit, which waived him on Sept. 4.
Zastudil is now free to sign with another team. He underwent offseason knee surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his “plant” leg. However, he was still bothered by pain in camp and he was placed on IR in August. Zastudil had several productive seasons for the Browns, who signed him as a free agent in 2006.
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