BEREA, Ohio (AP)The Browns are starting another week of practice with defensive ends Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney limited by injuries.
Garrett is dealing with a hamstring issue while Clowney, who has been slowed by injuries throughout his career, has an unspecified injury.
Cleveland signed Clowney to a one-year, $8 million contract in April with the idea of pairing him up front with Garrett, an All-Pro and one of the NFL’s best edge rushers.
But they haven’t had much time together on the field lately.
Garrett last practiced on Aug. 8. He tested his hamstring along with cornerback Denzel Ward with some short runs before Tuesday’s practice. It’s possible the Browns are just being overly cautious with Garrett, who had 9 1/2 sacks in his first nine games last season before contracting COVID-19.
In Clowney’s case, it could be the Browns are holding him out to keep him as fresh as possible heading into a 17-game schedule.
”With everybody, we’re just trying to make sure that we’re smart,” coach Kevin Stefanski said. ”As you know, the guys that maybe aren’t practicing are getting a ton of work inside. We’re just going to make sure we’re smart with all these guys.”
Meanwhile, linebacker Mack Wilson avoided a long-term shoulder injury, but will be sidelined for an indefinite period after getting hurt in Saturday’s exhibition opener at Jacksonville.
Wilson, who is projected to start this season, does not need surgery and is currently listed day to day.
Stefanski did not give any specifics on Wilson’s injury or provide a timeframe on his return.
”I think we dodged anything long term,” he said before practice. ”He’s going to work hard and hopefully we see him sooner than later.”
Wilson’s absence will give rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah more time with Cleveland’s starting defense. The second-round pick from Notre Dame had a strong debut against the Jaguars, with eight tackles and a sack in Cleveland’s 23-13 win.
Stefanski expected to have several players – safeties Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison Jr. and rookie receiver Anthony Schwartz – return for practice this week after being out with injuries sustained during training camp.
The Browns rested the majority of their starters last weekend against Jacksonville, and Stefanski will likely take a similar approach for Sunday’s home preseason game against the New York Giants.
The teams will hold two joint practices on Thursday and Friday at the Browns’ training facility.
Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has yet to participate in team drills in camp as he comes back from a season-ending knee surgery. Stefanski said the team will continue ”ramping him up appropriately.”
Stefanski wouldn’t say if Beckham will face the Giants, who traded him to Cleveland in 2019.
Tight end Stephen Carlson (knee) and wide receiver Ryan Switzer (foot) will both need surgeries after getting hurt against the Jaguars. The team placed both on injured reserve Monday.
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