Center of Controversy

Forget quarterback, the Browns aren't sure who will snap the ball Sunday.

BEREA, Ohio—There’s another controversy brewing for the Browns.

No, it’s not at the quarterback position.

It’s actually between Nick McDonald and Ryan Seymour on who will start Sunday against the Colts.

Mike Pettine compared the center competition to the quarterback competition.

“To me, it’s similar to the quarterback position,” he said. “It’s a little less of a glamorous position.

“It’s competition, but you go with the guy who you feel gives you the best chance to win.”

If Seymour gets the start, he will be the fourth different center this year to play. McDonald injured his ankle/knee early against the Bills, but was cleared to return to the game.

However, the coaches decided to stay with his replacement Seymour for the remainder of the game. Pettine said Seymour has played himself into the discussion of starting this week. Seymour played his first snaps at center against Buffalo.

“We still haven’t determined that yet,” Pettine said. “We’re working both guys (in practice).”

Pettine said playing four different players at a position isn’t ideal.

“It’s something you deal with,” Pettine said. “(Seymour’s) taken a number of reps. We’re comfortable with him.”

Pro Bowl center Alex Mack was lost for the season earlier this year against Pittsburgh and was replaced by John Greco. Later, McDonald was inserted at center and has started the last six games and Greco moved back to right guard.

Barnidge Likely Out; Cameron, Dansby Hopeful: Pettine didn’t sound too optimistic about the possible return of TE Gary Barnidge (ribs) this week. He was on the stationary bike Thursday at the beginning of practice.

Meanwhile, Cameron was practicing again.

“Losing Gary is tough and it’s something we’re going to have to overcome,” Pettine said. “Jordan practiced (Wednesday) and we’ll see if he can put another good day out there for us. I’m optimistic, cautiously, that he can go, but we’ve been here before.”

Pettine said TE Ryan Taylor has given the Browns good reps and he will backup TE Jim Dray if Cameron and Barnidge don’t play.

LB Karlos Dansby practiced for the second-straight day on a limited basis and is hopeful of playing this week.

RB Isaiah Crowell (hip) returned to practice, but LB Jabaal Sheard (foot) did not practice. WR Marlon Moore (hamstring) was limited. DB Tashaun Gipson (knee) is out. OL Nick McDonald, who injured his ankle/knee against the Bills was a full participant in practice.

DB Donte Whitner missed Thursday’s practice for a scheduled rest and LB Paul Kruger was ill.


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