McCutcheon No; Baxter Yes; Russell Maybe

Fred Greetham reports on the Browns situation in the defensive backfield where old and new injuries have prevented the team from fielding their starting unit through the pre-season...

BEREA – The Browns secondary is definitely in flux.

The good news is Gary Baxter is expected to be ready to play Sunday in the season opener against the Saints. He is expected to start opposite of Leigh Bodden.

Romeo Crennel said he says it is doubtful that Daylon McCutcheon will be ready to play. Also, free safety Brian Russell had surgery to repair a ruptured bursa sac and he will be a game time decision.

"Everyone should be on the field practicing," Crennel said. "With the exception of McCutcheon and Russell. McCutcheon will probably be on the sideline doing some running.

"Russell has some stitches and it will probably be a game time decision on him."

In the final preseason game, Sean Jones started at free safety for Russell and Brodney Pool started at strong safety.

The return of Baxter should help the cornerback position as replacements Ralph Brown and Pete Hunter were victimized on deep balls throughout the preseason. Baxter was injured on the first series of the first preseason game against the Eagles.


Fraley Ready?: Crennel said newly acquired OL Hank Fraley might be ready to go by Sunday. His competition, Lenny Friedman just arrived a little over a week ago.

"Lenny might have a couple of more days on him," Crennel said.

Crennel thinks Fraley's experience will allow him to be brought up to speed quickly.

"You always want time for the offensive linemen to develop some chemistry," Crennel said. "We have less time, but he's an experienced guy which will help it to make a smoother transition.

"The biggest thing is for the terminology and how quickly he gets acclimated to the new terminology. We're fortunate we have two experienced guards who can help make the calls."

Braylon, Winslow Ready: Crennel said he's expecting WR Braylon Edwards to be on the field a lot Sunday. Edwards, along with TE Kellen Winslow could make for some interesting matchups for Browns opponents.

"I expect Braylon will play quite a bit on Sunday," Crennel said. "All 53 players on the team have a role on the team. The game plan each weeks will dictate who might be the star for that game, but that all depends on how we plan to attack the opponent. Hopefully, he'll make plays for us."

Crennel thinks Winslow can cause problems with matchups.

"Winslow has a lot of special talents," he said. "We want to use him in the lineup in different ways on different plays. When he plays at a high level, he can cause matchup problems."

No Decision on QB: Crennel said the backup QB spot will be a game time decision.

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