Cleveland Indians (NFL 1931)

This article is about the third Cleveland Indians National Football League football team. For the first Cleveland Indians NFL team (1921), see Cleveland Tigers (NFL). For the second Cleveland Indians NFL team (1923), see Cleveland Bulldogs.
Cleveland Indians (1931)
Founded 1931
Folded 1931
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, United States
League National Football League (1931)
Team history Cleveland Indians (1931)
Team colors Red, White
Head coaches Al Cornsweet & Hoge Workman
Owner(s) National Football League
Home field(s) Cleveland Municipal Stadium

The Cleveland Indians was a professional football team in the National Football League for the 1931 season.

The 1931 team was a league-sponsored club that played the majority of their games on the road. The NFL had acquired the franchise of the Orange/Newark Tornadoes when that team left the league after the 1930 season; the league intended to locate this team permanently in Cleveland with new ownership. Cleveland was chosen because of the recent construction of their brand-new Cleveland Stadium; at 83,000 seats, the massive stadium was by far the largest in the league, which was still regularly playing games in stadiums of under 10,000 fans in some of the smaller markets. However, game attendance for the Indians' two home games were nowhere near capacity (the home opener drew a mere 2,000 fans; the finale, a more respectable but still relatively small 10,000) and no suitable owner was found that would put the team in Cleveland, so the team's spot in the league was sold to George Preston Marshall, who established a team in Boston (later known as the Redskins) in the 1932 season.

Among the games this incarnation of the Indians played was an exhibition against the Buffalo Bears in Buffalo, New York, a city that had lost their own NFL franchise, the Bisons, after the 1929 season. It would begin an extensive tradition of neutral-site NFL games in Buffalo that would last until the Buffalo Bills were established in 1960.

Other Cleveland Indians teams in the NFL

The "Indians" name was used previously for two other Cleveland-based NFL teams. They first use of the Indians name came in 1921, when the Cleveland Tigers became the "Cleveland Indians" before folding after the 1921 season. A second "Indians" NFL team arose in 1923. That team played as the "Indians" for the 1923 season before changing its name to the Cleveland Bulldogs in 1924. These three Cleveland teams are viewed as three totally different franchises by the NFL.

The 1931 Indians would be followed in the city by the Cleveland Rams from 1937 to 1945, and the Cleveland Browns from 1950 to 1996, and again from 1999 the present day.


Year W L T Finish Coaches
1931 2 8 0 8th Al Cornsweet, Hoge Workman
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