Despite a career filled with ups and downs, Cody Parkey seemed to find success with the Browns in 2020. After checking everywhere but the couch cushions for a kicker, the Browns seemed to have finally found their man in Parkey, which was his second go-round with Cleveland. Considering all the moves Andrew Berry made in the offseason, it was refreshing to not have one of them be at the kicker position. So much for breathing a sigh of relief.
The Browns announced earlier today that Parkey had suffered a quad injury and will be placed on IR. According to WKYC, head coach Kevin Stefanski stated that the injury occurred during pre-game warmups against the Giants yesterday. As fellow CST writer Steven Gill pointed out, Parkey is done for the season with Cleveland. Though his injury itself is not medically season-ending, it’s the timing of it that spells doom for the kicker. The problem lies in the NFL’s roster rules that if the player is placed on injured reserve prior to the final roster cut, they will be unable to come back. There is a little more to it than that, but for all intents and purposes, you won’t see Cody Parkey on the field this year for the Browns.
Parkey connected on 19 of 22 field goals and was 43 for 47 on extra points in 2020. Chase McLaughlin will take over kicking duties for now. Playing college ball at the University of Illinois, McLaughlin has had offseason and practice squad stints with the Bills, Vikings, Chargers, 49ers, Colts, Jaguars and Jets. Though this journeyman history is not exactly a confidence-builder, McLaughlin could have likely been facing the old “there’s always a bigger fish” situation while trying out for the aforementioned teams. He will now get what is likely his best chance yet to prove himself at the NFL level.