BEREA, Ohio—Two key players for the Browns that haven’t practiced this week, still might play this week.
Despite not practicing, they were both listed as “questionable” with shoulder injuries on the official injury report.
“The type of injury (it is), when you build up a bank of reps and you feel a guy might be able to help you,” Pettine said. “There’s still a chance with the way their rehab isgoing . They’re getting better every day, so it will go right up to game time.”
Pettine said he doesn’t have a hard and fast rule preventing players from playing if they haven’t practiced during the week.
“I’ve seen it, to me it depends on the player,” he said. “If he’s a guy that needs practice and I’ve seen guys who for the large part of a season do nothing but walk throughs. you prefer not to do it, but I don’t have a hard and fast rule. A lot of it is per individual case.
Pettine was asked if he was holding out hope that either Cameron or Mingo could play.
If Mingo doesn’t play, Jabaal Sheard will likely start and have more reps. Pettine said Sheard played well against the Steelers.
“If Mingo is down, (Sheard) will have to play more,” Pettine said. “I thought he flashed some of the Jabaal Sheard we saw last year.”
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was asked if the offense would be affected drastically if Cameron can’t play on Sunday.
“Yeah, it affects how we look at everything,” he said. “When you put together a game plan, a third down package, everything you do it affects it – who you want to get the ball to with matchups and stuff.
“I’m used to being in this situation,” he said. “A lot of times you never know who’s going to be up, so you’ve got to have plans for both and make sure when it is a game-time decision and things like that that you’re not depending on the decision. You’re ready for it and you can go either way.”
Pettine said that if Cameron won’t play, that newly signed tight end Gerell Robinson would be activated.
A silver lining is the Browns put up 24 points in the second half last week against the Steelers with Cameron only on the field for one play after injuring his shoulder. Running back Ben Tate, who has been ruled out with a knee injury also was absent during the Browns second half comeback.
Tate Return RB Ben Tate was in the locker room and walking with a brace on his sprained right knee.
“I won’t be out too long,” Tate said.
He didn’t rule out playing next week, but with the bye after next week’s game, Tate sounded optimistic he could return in week five against the Titans. Reports have said the injury was a two to four week injury.
“We’ll see next week, but the bye definitely comes at a good time.”
Tate had just rushed for a 25-yard gain and after leaving the field, felt something when he tried to go back in.
“I tried to go back in the game and the knee didn’t feel right.”
Tate finished with 41 yards on six carries for an average of 6.8 yards per carry.
Flash News: The NFLPA was supposed to vote on a new drug policy and there have been reports that WR Josh Gordon could be re-instated in time for this week’s game with the Saints. However, no vote had been taken at the close of business hours Friday.
The most recent reports have been that Gordon would get an 8-10 game suspension.
Pettine was asked if he was hopeful to get Gordon back at some time this season.
“I don’t,” he said. “Just because we’ve heard everything. Until we get official word from the league, we don’t get our hopes up. We’ll believe it when we see it.”
Pettine was asked why Gordon’s locker is completely intact in the locker room, complete with helmet, jersey, cleats and Tums.
“We just got some really lazy guys in our equipment room.”
Bryant, McQuistan, Hughes Questionable: Other than Tate being ruled out for the game, the rest of the injury report is questionable. Cameron (shoulder), Mingo (shoulder), DL Desmond Bryant (wrist), OL Paull McQuistan (ankle) and DL John Hughes (hamstring) were all listed as questionable for the game.
Bryant, McQuistan and Hughes all practiced on a limited basis.
Hurry Up: Pettine was asked if the Browns would come out in the up tempo hurry up offense this week against the Saints.
“If you promise not to tell (Saints defensive coordinator) Rob Ryan, I’ll answer that question,” Pettine said laughing. “As I said before, I think it will be part of what we do. You’d like to have the ability to be able to jump in and out. If you want to start in it, you start in it. Certainly if you’re behind, I think it’s a good weapon to maximize your number of plays to get yourself back into a game. I know it’s something that we’re not built to major in, but it’s something that, if the time is appropriate for it, we’ll get in it.”
Manziel Look: Rookie QB Johnny Manziel didn’t play against the Steelers and it is unknown if the plan was to use him or not.
However, the Browns put 24 points on the board in the second half and the play of QB Brian Hoyer kept Manziel on the sidelines. Pettine was asked if Hoyer’s play tabled any thoughts of using Manziel in certain situations.
“It could happen and I know Rob and I’m sure they are preparing for (a Manziel package),” Pettine said. “The Ryans are very detailed and very paranoid in their preparation. If Johnny does go out there it won’t be something they haven’t prepared for.”
However, offense coordinator said that is unlikely to happen.
“As far as a Johnny package, like I said last week, a package is running our offense,” Shanahan said. “Johnny is not a wildcat quarterback. If our starting quarterback gets injured or something like that, then your backup quarterback comes in. You hope he can run the offense and execute it. There are obviously plays that Johnny would do that Brian wouldn’t, but that usually has to do with the health of your quarterback and how the game is going.”
Shanahan also was asked if Manziel could be used as a change of pace option.
“Probably not, but that always depends on what you’re going against – what the looks are – how everything is going as a whole,” he said. “There are really no absolutes, but week in and week out, it has to do with what I see on tape with who we’re going against.”