BEREA—Terrelle Pryor was back on the practice field for the first time since feeling “tightness” in his hamstring on Aug. 1. Pryor missed the Orange & Brown scrimmage and the first preseason game against the Redskins.
Pryor is trying to make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver at the NFL level with just limited time in training camp to show what he can do.
“He’s not guaranteed a spot but I also wouldn’t write him off,” Mike Pettine said after practice Saturday. “He’s still in between, but the sense of urgency has ramped up it’s a tighter window to see it. We’re certainly not going to give him a spot on potential, but what he’s shown us is encouraging.”
With that being said, Pettine said they wouldn’t rush Pryor back into a full load.
“We’ll take it slow,” Pettine said. “He’s done a good job staying engaged mentally. “We’ll see if he can pick it up (where he was),” he said. “We have to get him out there and see what he can do.”
Pryor said he’s worked on catching extra passes from the JUGS machine during his time off.
“I take pride in not dropping the ball,” Pryor said. “I think I’ve been doing well with the mental reps and plan to play to the best of my ability.”
Early on, Pryor said getting off the line in press coverage was his biggest concern. However, he spent time working with Joe Haden and Tramon Williams before practices and was asked if that’s still his biggest concern as a receiver.
“Don’t think so anymore,” he said. “I just need to work on the top of my routes, being savvy.”
Pryor admitted that he’s got to make the most of the remaining part of the preseason, but isn’t putting undo pressure on himself.
“It’s big,” “Pryor said. “I can’t worry about what I can’t control.
“I’m just going to do my best, my one-eleventh (of the offense) and the rest is in the hands (of those) upstairs.”
Pettine said there’s no set limit on how many receivers the team will carry but generally teams don’t carry more than five or six at the position. Those competing for spots currently number 11, including Pryor, Brian Hartline, Dwayne Bowe, Taylor Gabriel, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, Shane Wynn, Darius Jennings, Marlon Moore, Josh Lenz and Vince Mayle.
Pryor knows it’s a numbers game at the wide receiver position, but is still confident that he can make the transition to the NFL level at receiver.
“When I put my mind to something, I want to be the best and keep on learning,” he said. “If I can get one percent better every day, that’s my goal.”
But will it be enough?
“I don’t worry about things I cannot control,” Pryor said. “I will give it my all and give it my best.”
Thomas, Winn Return: OL Joe Thomas (leg) returned to practice after a coaching decision was made to hold him out of the scrimmage.
DL Billy Winn also returned after being carted off the field with an ankle/knee injury on the second day of training camp.
Johnson Closer: RB Duke Johnson, who has missed the past two weeks with a hamstring injury was on the bike, but did have his helmet with him. Pettine said he expected Johnson to start practicing this week and barring a setback would be ready for the third preseason game at Tampa Bay on Aug. 29.
“(Johnson) was just jogging around,” Pettine said. “We’ll take it easy with him.”
DB Joe Haden (hamstring) and DB Tashaun Gipson (calf) were held out of Saturday’s practice. Other’s still out were: Pierre Desir (hamstring), DB De’Ante Saunders (leg), DB Robert Nelson (hamstring) and WR Dwayne Bowe (hamstring).
“It’s a mild strain,” Pettine said about Gipson. “It’s nothing serious.”
Other players that returned to practice were FB Luke Lundy (concussion) and OL Joe Madsen (concussion).
Seeing Red: RB Shaun Draughn (hand), WR Marlon Moore (ribs) and FB Malcolm Johnson (shoulder) were wearing the red non-contact jerseys.
Taking the Train: Pettine said the Browns will take the train to Rochester, NY to practice with the Bills on Monday and Tuesday. The reason was logistically it is easier than flying to Buffalo and taking a bus from there.
“I’m not sure if our plane was too big to take to Rochester,” Pettine said. “I’ve taken the train before and I think it’s the way to go. It’s like a plane, but you’re on the ground.”
The Browns will practice two days and then return to Cleveland to play the Bills in the second preseason game on Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium.