BEREA—Josh McCown took the first step to playing Sunday against the Steelers as he practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.
“Josh is progressing,” Mike Pettine said before practice Wednesday. “(McCown) threw some (Tuesday). (He) will practice some in a limited fashion.”
During the portion of practice open to the media, McCown didn't do a whole lot. He threw lightly with an assistant coach while wearing a baseball cap. He was carrying his helmet with him, but Johnny Manziel and Austin Davis were running the practice reps with the offense.
Pettine said on Tuesday that he didn’t want to wait too long to name the starter for this week’s game and said he’ll likely know by Thursday morning.
“We’ll see how he responds to (practice) after going through the treatment and doing some throwing,” Pettine said. “It’s a progression. That’s why he’s day-to-day. We’ll know a lot more after (Wednesday) and see how he responds.
“I don’t have a drop dead time (on naming the starter),” he said. “We’ll gather all the information tonight after practice and see where Josh is. We’ll probably re-visit it Thursday morning and then go from there.”
McCown is 165-of-254 for 1,897 yards (65 pct.) with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. His quarterback rating of 95.2 is 12th overall in the NFL. He currently leads the NFL with a 137.3 rating on third down.
Manziel was 15-of-33 for 168 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 31-10 loss to the Bengals filling in for McCown.
Pettine admitted that it is hard to know how McCown will respond until he’s actually hit in a game.
“That’s safe to say.”
Haden, Whitner Still Out: As the Browns start their preparation for the Steelers, DB Joe Haden and DB Donte Whitner are still in the concussion protocol. DB Jordan Poyer returned to practice with a shoulder injury.
OL Joel Bitonio has been ruled out with the ankle injury. The rest of the players on the injury report will practice at least in a limited capacity according to Pettine. DB Jordan Poyer (shoulder) DB Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring), WR Brian Hartline (concussion), WR Andrew Hawkins (concussion), QB Johnny Manziel (right elbow) and QB Josh McCown (ribs) were on the pre-practice injury report.
Pettine Thanks Veterans: Pettine opened his press conference thanking veterans of the armed services.
"I just want to take the opportunity on Veterans Day to honor, to thank and to salute all the men and women who have served our country," Pettine said. "Honoring veterans is very important to the Cleveland Browns organization. At practice today, we will host about 90 guests from all five branches [of the military and] USO of Northern Ohio. It is always a real good experience for the coaches and for the players, as well. We look forward to meeting them and thanking them."