Reuben Droughns has not ruled out playing against the Steelers Sunday. He still cannot practice because his sprained foot is still bothering him, but he has Friday and Saturday to get ready.
"I have no idea," Droughns said quickly when asked if he will be ready for the Steelers.
The season has been a struggle for Droughns. He is averaging 3.1 yards a carry, almost a yard less than last season.
Droughns is critical to the Browns chances of upsetting the Steelers. The Browns figure the best way to keep the pass rush off Charlie Frye is to show they can run. It will not be easy, especially inside, and especially if Droughns cannot play.
One reason the Browns signed LeCharles Bentley in the offseason was for the match-up with Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton. The Browns believe Bentley could handle Hampton one-on-one. With Bentley out for the year recovering from a torn patellar tendon and Hank Fraley at center the Browns will have to double-team Hampton.
"Usually, nose tackles in the 3-4 defense command a double-team if they're pretty good," Crennel said. "Generally, you have to double-team him. If you have a guy who can block him one-on-one, you are okay."
A decision on Droughns could come down to Sunday morning, Crennel said.
DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER
Former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell is among 25 modern era semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He will have competition from former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the late George Young, former general manager of the New York Giants, Colts and Dolphins.
It is not a particularly strong class for players. Among the best of the semifinalists is running back Terrell Davis, linebacker Derrick Thomas and quarterback Ken Stabler.
BODDEN ON A BIKE
Leigh Bodden is staying in shape by riding an exercise bike. Bodden is rehabbing from a severely sprained left ankle. Bodden has not ruled out playing against the Steelers, but he said his goal is to play next week against Cincinnati.