PITTSFORD, N.Y.—The Browns depleted secondary added another body to the field on Monday as seven defensive backs didn’t take part in practice, including Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who’s expected to miss the entire season recovering from a knee injury.
Cornerbacks Joe Haden, Pierre Desir and Robert Nelson all sat out practice with hamstring injuries, while K’Waun Williams (abdominal) and Ekpre-Olomu (knee) were out. Safeties Tashaun Gipson (calf) and De’Ante Saunders (calf) watched, as well.
“Just felt from a depth standpoint in that position with (Robert) Nelson still not back, (Pierre) Desir not being back,” Mike Pettine said. “With Joe (Haden) being down for a couple days we wanted to make sure we were covered their depth-wise.
“When you start to lose guys at certain positions, corner being one of them it can really effect how you practice,” he said. “We wanted to make sure our bases were covered there.”
Aaron Ross was on the field for his first practice after being signed on Sunday. Ross is wearing No. 41.
The former first-round draft choice of the Giants missed all of last year with a torn Achilles while being with the Ravens. Pettine said it’s too early to see if Ross is fully recovered from the injury.
“I don’t think we have seen enough,” he said. “I think it is too small a sample size. I didn’t get a chance to see him at all today.”
Ross (6-0, 197)-pound veteran in his eighth NFL season out of Texas. Originally selected by the Giants in the first round in 2007, Ross has appeared in 83 career games with the Giants and Jaguars. He has totaled 250 tackles, 41 passes defensed, 11 interceptions and 2.5 sacks. He helped the Giants to Super Bowl victories in 2007 and 2011.
Also, veteran linebacker Everette Brown was also on the field wearing No. 50.
Pettine said it was a similar situation that led to his signing. Pettine said the team was also thin at outside linebacker and had been playing Dylan Wynn out of position.
“With (Barkevious) Mingo being down and we are playing Dylan Wynn out of place,” Pettine said. “I mentioned that the other day. We wanted to be able to get him work at his true position to get a true evaluation. That would be unfair to him to evaluate him at outside linebacker essentially and make a roster decision when he should playing inside. That allows us to move him back.
“Everette is a guy who is a professional,” he said. “He has played quality reps in this league before. We will see what he can do.”
Brown (6-2, 263) is in his seventh NFL season out of Florida State. Originally selected by the Panthers in the second round in 2009, Brown has appeared in 44 career games with the Panthers, Chargers, Cowboys and Redskins. He has totaled 63 tackles, seven sacks, three passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one interception. Last season, he appeared in six games with the Redskins.
Red Shirts: FB Malcolm Johnson (shoulder), WR Marlon Moore (ribs) and RB Shaun Draughn (hand) continued to wear the red non-contact jersey. Moore got into a skirmish with a Bills player after he was knocked to the ground and was wincing in pain as he left the field with the trainers.
“I talked to him about it,” Pettine said. “I told him he is too good looking to risk getting hit. It is not the place or the forum to take your helmet off. It was an unfortunate thing. He was in a red jersey, which means he shouldn’t be contacted. I think linebacker it is just instincts to re-route a guy.
“Sometimes you are not dialed in and you see someone from the other team and you are going to hit him. He took offense to that and we all saw what happen.”
Bike Brigade: DB Joe Haden, WR Dwayne Bowe, DB Robert Nelson,DB Pierre Desir and RB Duke Johnson all sat out with hamstring injuries. Other out were DB K’Waun Williams (abdominal), DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (knee), LB Barkevious Mingo (knee), TE Randall Telfer (foot), RB Glenn Winston (knee), QB Connor Shaw (thumb), DB Tashaun Gipson (calf) and DB De’Ante Saunders (calf) were also on the side.
Shaw Set for Surgery: Pettine said that QB Connor Shaw is set for surgery on his right thumb to repair ligament damage.
Pettine was asked why it took a few days to determine he needed surgery.
“I just think it was something that he didn’t think was that serious, and let it go,” he said. “Then came in the next day and I think sometimes guys it is natural. Guys get dinged and they don’t want to go into the training room. They fear the worst. They are hopeful that it is just something that is sore and well go away.”
Palmer in the House: Former Browns head coach Chris Palmer is on Rex Ryan’s staff with the Bills as a senior offensive advisor. Palmer was the first coach of the Browns in the expansion era starting in 1999.
Tough Break: Bills LB Ty Powell was carted off during practice. After practice, Bills coach Rex Ryan said the team fears it’s an ACL tear.
Plays of the Day: McCown hit WR Taylor Gabriel down the sideline for a 44-yard touchdown as Gabriel was behind Bills’ DB Ellis Lankster by several steps…QB Johnny Manziel had back-to-back touchdown passes in the red zone, the first to TE Rob Housler for five yards and then to WR Darius Jennings from five yards as Jennings was able to slip past Bills’ S Wes Miller.
Next Up: The Browns will practice Tuesday night from 6 pm-8 pm again with the Bills in a similar format at St. John Fisher College. The end of the practices will be an unscripted move the ball down the field situation according to Pettine.