Berea Report: A Rook for Returns

Fred Greetham reports the very latest from Berea, including a change at kick returner, injury updates, and the reason the Browns decided to cut Sultan McCullough...

Here are notes from the Browns Wednesday afternoon practice in Berea...

Perkins Time: Rather than go out and sign a player to return kickoffs, Crennel said the team would turn to rookie CB Antonio Perkins to take over for the injured Josh Cribbs.

"We've looked at a couple of guys to return kicks," Crennel said. "Perkins is a guy we drafted who has return ability."

Perkins was drafted in the fourth-round out of Oklahoma as a defensive back, but made his mark as a return man. He set NCAA records as a punt returner, including 277 yards and three touchdowns on punt returns against UCLA in 2003. He had eight punt returns for scores in college to tie the NCAA Division I-A record first set by Wes Welker of Texas Tech (2000-03).

Although Perkins made his mark as a punt return man, he has returned 21 kickoffs for 319 yards.

"I want to go in there and do all I can to contribute to the team," Perkins said. "In this league, when you have a chance to step up you have to do it. Hopefully, I'll step up."

Injury Update: Crennel said CB Gary Baxter (concussion) and RB Lee Suggs (ankle) practiced Wednesday. TE Aaron Shea (shoulder) is not quite ready, but improving. LB Matt Stewart and WR/KR Josh Cribbs have damage to their MCL ligament. Crennel said neither would need surgery, but will be fitted with knee braces and be listed as week-to- week.

"MCL's vary from player to player," Crennel said "We're not putting a timetable on it. I don't expect either player to be able to play this week."

Cribbs was disappointed with the injury.

"I'm just going to do my rehab and come back strong," he said. "It's very frustrating because I've worked very hard but injuries happen in football."

Other injuries mentioned by Crennel were: DL Orpheus Roye (hyperextended knee) and CB Leigh Bodden (groin). He said neither will practice Wednesday and will be updated tomorrow. TE Steve Heiden (neck stinger) is ok and will practice.

Wright In, Sultan Out: Crennel said the Browns were willing to let RB Sultan McCullough go from the practice squad and sign RB Jason Wright to take his place.

"We invested some time in (McCullough)," Crennel said. "We decided we wanted to take a look at Jason Wright and see what he looked like. We felt with Sultan's position, we could switch running back for running back right now."

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