BEREA, Ohio--It's all hands on deck this week.
With Tom Brady coming to FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns can use as much pass rush as they can get.
They hope Carl Nassib can provide that.
Nassib opened the season as the starting defensive end and had three tackles, including his first NFL sack. He also batted down a pass by Carson Wentz and pressured him on a couple other occasions. He then was injured with a broken hand early against the Ravens, which required surgery and missed the last two games. He is officially listed as questionable, but most indications are that he will play.
Nassib (6-7, 275) was drafted in the third round (65th overall) and showed promise in the preseason leading the Browns in sacks with three.
Hue Jackson said Nassib had a good week of practice.
“He has practiced well," Jackson said. "He is going 100 miles an hour. You know Carl. We will see where we are at the end of the week and see if we can get him out there.”
Despite being listed as limited, Jackson sounded as though Nassib will have a say in the decision to play.
“I think he has to help us in that process," Jackson said. "We will talk to him and see how he feels, but he has had a good week.”
Listening to Nassib, it sounds he is planning on playing.
“I feel good, feel rested," he said. "I am very excited to get out there this weekend and help my team.”
Nassib said he would likely have the hand wrapped up like a club.
“It is a little challenging, but I think I will handle it pretty well."
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton said he's had many players play over the years with casts on.
“Many players have played with a cast on," Horton said. "He is going to come out and give us great [effort]. We know that. For now, how much will that affect him? He will have to get used to playing with how they prepare him medically to play, but it won’t affect his ability to make plays for us. Now, will it affect his ability to grab a jersey? I’m sure it will to some extent, but he can still create havoc out there, we hope.”
After a good preseason and good start to the regular season, Nassib admitted he was frustrated with the injury.
“Yeah, it was frustrating, but I just took it as try to make a positive out of the situation," he said. "Just get my body right and study as much as I could.”
Nassib said while he was sitting out, studying film, he's seen things he can improve upon.
“There are definitely some things that I need to improve on," Nassib said. "Getting experience in the game is definitely one of them. I’m just going to try my best to be the best that I can.”
Horton said there's no replacement for actual game experience when asked if Nassib could continue to develop while injured.
“My first answer would be no because he is not on the field, but maybe psychologically he gets a new appreciation for the love of the game and how precious it is to miss games,," he said. "That would be the only positive out of it.
"To me, there is nothing good about not being on the field, not practicing and not playing in the actual game time," he said. "Other than, I hope, ‘Man, when I come back, I’m going to treat the game with more respect and appreciate the rare opportunity I do have to play NFL football.’”
Although Nassib didn't mention Brady by name, he said he was excited to play against the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Yeah, I am very excited to compete against the whole Patriots offense and everybody out there," he said. "Yup.”
Williams, Nassib, Campbell Questionable: DB Joe Haden (groin/thigh) was a full participant at practice by Friday, as was WR Andrew Hawkins (calf). DL Carl Nassib (hand), DB Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring) and DB Tramon Williams (shoulder) practiced all week and are listed as questionable.
The following did not practice all week and will not play: WR Corey Coleman (hand), TE Seth DeValve (knee), OL Cameron Erving (chest/lung), QB Josh McCown (left shoulder), OL Austin Reiter (knee) and TE Randall Telfer (ankle). Reiter tore his ACL but has to stay on the roster for three games because he was signed off the Redskins practice squad before he can be moved to injured reserve.
Cam and Boddy-Calhoun Stepping Up: Defensive coordinator Ray Horton praised the front office for bringing in young free agents that have helped the Browns immediately by stepping right in. LB Cam Johnson was signed off the Cardinals practice squad last Saturday and he had two sacks the next day against Washington. DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun had an interception in his first game against Miami and added a sack last week against the Redskins.
“I contribute that to our front office doing a great job of scouting and trying to improve the roster and getting guys that can make plays, and we want them to continue to make plays," Horton said. "They are going to get opportunities to. Cam is a great example of that. Sometimes in an athlete’s life, when you are not some place and you are regulated to a practice squad or not getting snaps and you get the opportunity, I mentioned earlier that our motto has been 2016 season of opportunity.
"Guys are getting an opportunity to make a name for themselves and to get extra playing time," he said. "Our front office has done a great job of bringing guys in that are contributing, and we want them to continue to contribute. Cam Johnson is a perfect example of that last week of showing up on Saturday and coming right in. It did help that he knew our system. If he didn’t know our system, we put him in a position where he could at least play football and not have to think.”
Go Tribe!: Jackson said he has gotten caught up in the excitement of the Cavaliers winning a championship and is pulling for the Indians, as well in the playoffs.
"It's exciting," Jackson said. "Some day we hope to give our fans something to scream about, too. I wish (Terry) Francona nothing but the best."