Here's what we're hearing from our sources about the team's current injury situation...
- Practice makes perfect. In the case of WR Donte Stallworth, practice will ensure that the highly anticipated debut of the Browns wide receiver will come to pass on October 13th against the New York Giants. Stallworth, considered a major free agent acquisition of the team in the off-season, has yet to play this season due to a quad strain suffered prior to kickoff with the Dallas Cowboys. Heading into the weekend, practice sessions have been positive for the WR and he is on track to play next week.
- Veteran OLB Willie McGinest hasn't experienced further any issues with the hamstring that has caused the OLB to miss the vast majority of practice sessions the past two weeks, as well as the Browns last two regular season games. McGinest is on track to be back on the playing field next week, splitting time with rookie OLB Alex Hall.
- Starting safety Sean Jones, idle since undergoing knee surgery could be on the Browns radar for the game against the Giants. The team will see where Jones is in his rehab and practice before making a decision on his availability, which at this time is no better than a 50-50 proposition. Mike Adams has stepped into the void created by the Jones injury and played well in his absence.
- Veteran offensive lineman Ryan Tucker could be back on the playing field next week against the Giants. Tucker, the former starting RT prior to moving to the RG position a season ago, has practiced with the team extensively and participated in all individual and team drills. Due to inefficiency along the right-side of the offensive line, Tucker could be a viable candidate to start at either the RG or RT spot in the near future.
- Starting LG Eric Steinbach made it through the Cincinnati game without causing further issue to an ailing shoulder. Steinbach may miss some limited practice time as a precaution, but the veteran lineman is expected to remain in the starting lineup.
- RB Jamal Lewis has played despite soreness in his hamstring and ankle. The bye-week was timed perfectly for the veteran, coming off a 25-carry performance in the Browns 20-12 victory over the Bengals. Lewis should be near or at 100% for the Browns nationally televised showdown with the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.
- Rookie LB Beau Bell appears physically ready to contribute and will be worked slowly into the mix. The loss of significant reps in training camp due to knee surgery set back the promising linebacker, with the coaching staff continuing to work with the rookie on the mental aspects of the position and scheme responsibilities. Though unlikely for the foreseeable future, Bell will gradually work his way into meaningful reps while spending time on the special teams units.
- Rookie TE Martin Rucker is a couple weeks away from being anything other than another option for this struggling Browns offense. Rucker continues to rehab following knee surgery in training camp and has been on the practice field.
- WR Joe Jurevicius has been on the PUP list since training camp and his status appears to be set for the foreseeable future. Jurevicius has suffered through an off-season which a staph infection riddled what was deemed a successful arthroscopic knee surgery at the conclusion of the 2007 season. Jurevicius is not close to a return, though the veteran WR has been a constant presence working out, and has done work in the pool, as well as some light jogging.