BEREA, Ohio — The Browns are trying to be very cautious about the return of quarterback Seneca Wallace. After using Jake Delhomme as the backup to Wallace against the Falcons, Delhomme re-injured his ankle and hasn't been able to play since.
Eric Mangini said the injury to Delhomme was different than the original high ankle sprain, but didn't specify what the injury was and when he might be ready to play. All he said was that Wallace was ahead of Delhomme.
Wallace said last week he thought he'd be ready this week, but hasn't practiced yet. He was asked if has suffered a setback after missing Wednesday and Thursday's practice.
"No, there have been no setbacks," Wallace said. "I've just got to be smart about (returning)."
Wallace was asked if he thought he would practice Friday.
"I would say it's a big, big possibility," Wallace said.
However, when asked if he thought he would be ready to play Sunday against New England, he didn't sound as optimistic. He's missed practice for close to three weeks. He might be the backup quarterback or the third quarterback.
"It's tough to say," Wallace said. "Practicing and playing in a game are different."
Meanwhile, Colt McCoy prepares for this third-straight start and first at home and all indications are that he will start against New England. Mangini indicated there was a chance that Wallace could practice Friday.
"We're moving pretty strong in that direction (starting McCoy)," Mangini said."
McCoy continues to give the politically correct answers when asked about making his first start at home.
"Well again, that's the coaches' decision, but I know I'm really preparing hard this week," he said. "We got a little extra work in last week against New England, so we've kind of have a pretty good idea game plan-wise of what we want to do, what we want to accomplish.
"Like I said, I know this team is working really hard. We had some good practices before the bye and Monday we had a good one. We have just got to continue to build and New England is a great football team. Defensively they're extremely well coached, they're always in the right spots, they won't make many mistakes and we have our hands full with them. I just really have got to be sharp, execute what we are trying to do and that's the only way we will have a chance to win this game. "
Lauvao to Play?: Third-round draft choice Shawn Lauvao might make his NFL debut this week against the Patriots.
"Shawn had a good day (Wednesday) and over the bye week, but Billy (Yates)did, as well," Mangini said. "Both have worked with the starting group and it will come down to the end of the week."
Lauvao was slated to start the season opener when Floyd Womack was nursing a knee injury, but he suffered a high ankle sprain and hasn't been able to get on the field. Yates was cut in the final roster moves, but was re-signed when injuries occurred on the line and he started over Lauvao, who was healthy, in New Orleans.
Womack is playing right tackle with the ankle injury to John St. Clair. Mangini said he's moving around better, but has not practiced this week. He was in the locker room without a walking boot and only limping slightly.
The West Coast Way: Belichick said the Browns were running the West Coast offense, but the Browns have said they weren't. Mangini was asked why he would say that.
"I think there's elements in the West Coast offense in what we do and if he classifies it that way, that's fine."
Injury Update: Mangini said that QB Jake Delhomme (ankle), QB Seneca Wallace (ankle), OL John St. Clair (ankle), who did not practice Wednesday, would also miss Thursday.
"There was no setback (on Rogers)," he said. "He should be back today."
On Holmgren's Response to Coaching Again: Mangini was asked what he thought about Mike Holmgren leaving the door open for possibly coaching again.
"I don't think it ever leaves your system," Mangini said. "I think once you have it, it's always there…It's a great job and it's a fun job."