CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Austin Seibert appeared to lock up Cleveland’s kicking job after a summer-long battle, and the Browns ended the preseason with a 20-16 win Thursday night over the Detroit Lions, who finished 0-4.
Seibert kicked field goals of 36 and 33 yards and made two extra points. The fifth-round draft pick has been competing with incumbent Greg Joseph, but Seibert, who got off to an abysmal start in training camp, separated himself by making all four field goal tries last week in Tampa and then didn’t miss against the Lions.
The Browns (3-1) are hoping to contend for a playoff spot this season and need a dependable kicker.
Lions QB Josh Johnson scored on a 1-yard sneak and threw a TD pass.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Cleveland’s other starters didn’t even put on their uniforms. They stood on the sideline and watched as teammates they’ve played with all summer battled for jobs.
“For these guys this is a dream,” said Beckham, who didn’t play in the preseason because of a minor hip injury.
NFL teams must submit their 53-man rosters by Saturday at 4 p.m., and the next 48 hours will be tense for dozens of players.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford did dress for the game, but he didn’t throw another pass after warmups as Lions coach Matt Patricia and Browns coach Freddie Kitchens sat their first-teamers.
Browns third-string QB Garrett Gilbert threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to running back Dontrell Hilliard in the first half.
Tom Savage started for Stafford, played the entire first half and completed 5 of 9 passes. Savage recently returned from a concussion suffered in the preseason opener, and will likely be Detroit’s backup.
The Lions couldn’t get anything going on offense in the first half. Detroit gained 16 yards on its first 19 plays, but only trailed 3-2 after a gift safety from the Browns.
Cleveland backup tackle Travis Vornkahl had an interesting three-play sequence. He was called for an illegal block, caught a deflected pass for a 7-yard loss and was caught holding in the end zone.
Lions: TE Isaac Nauta returned from a leg injury and caught a 20-yard TD pass.
Browns: Rookie OL Drew Forbes injured his left knee in the first quarter and didn’t return. … CB Lenzy Pipkins hurt his back while making an open-field tackle in the second quarter.
The teams were called for a combined 22 penalties.
Wyatt Teller was sliding down Buffalo’s depth chart. He landed in Cleveland.
The Browns, who have been looking for a starting right guard since trading Kevin Zeitler to the Giants in the Beckham deal, acquired Teller from the Bills a few hours before kickoff. Cleveland sent a fifth- and a sixth-round pick in 2020 to Buffalo for Teller, who started seven games at left guard as a rookie in 2018.
Teller will likely move into the starting lineup, given what general manager John Dorsey gave up for him.
“It gives us some depth at that position,” Dorsey said on the TV broadcast during the third quarter. “He’s a younger guy. I think he has developmental upside. You can’t have enough good football players, and that’s another one we’ve acquired.”
Eric Kush had been working with the starters.
Suspended Browns running back Kareem Hunt underwent surgery for a sports hernia. He’s expected to make a full recovery and be healthy when he’s eligible to return in November.
The NFL banned him eight games for two off-field altercations in 2018 with Kansas City.
Lions: travel to Arizona for Sept. 8 opener.
Browns: open at home against Tennessee. Cleveland is 1-17-1 in openers since 1999.