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Aug. 15, 2011: News, notes and observations from Browns training camp (with video)

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 15, 2011

Here's what you need to know about the 12th practice of Browns training camp:

  • He's back: Running back Montario Hardesty fully participated in practice for the first time since the team began wearing full pads on Aug. 1. Hardesty has spent most of training camp working on the side with a trainer. He tore the ACL in his left knee during a preseason game last September and missed his rookie season. The Browns have brought him along slowly this summer. "It was good seeing him out there," coach Pat Shurmur said. "I think he enjoyed being back at practice." Shurmur said he doesn't know for sure whether Hardesty will play in the Browns' preseason game Friday against the Detroit Lions. "Right now, I don't want to make that commitment," Shurmur said. "I think there's a chance he might not (play)."

  • Injury updates: Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi continued to sit out with an injured bone in his left foot, but he appeared on the field without wearing either a cast or a walking boot for the first time since training camp started. Tight end Benjamin Watson (hamstring) and linebacker Scott Fujita (thigh) were held out of practice for precautionary reasons, Shurmur said. Strong safety T.J. Ward missed practice because of a tooth problem that required treatment from a dentist, Shurmur said. Defensive tackle Brian Schaefering left practice after his right foot was stepped on. Linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger), free safety Usama Young (hamstring), cornerback Coye Francies (lower back) and defensive tackle Travis Ivey (unspecified) and defensive end Jabari Fletcher (right knee) were also sidelined. Shurmur also offered updates on rookie strong safety Eric Hagg and wide receiver Carlton Mitchell. He said Hagg is having knee surgery today as planned. Mitchell broke one of his fingers and had screws inserted to repair it on Friday, Shurmur said.

  • Contemplating retirement: Veteran offensive lineman Billy Yates did not practice, either. Shurmur said Yates, who recently re-signed with the Browns, is thinking about retiring and most likely will do so. "Billy Yates is contemplating retiring," Shurmur said. "So we had that conversation this morning. He talked to myself. He talked to (General Manager) Tom (Heckert). My understanding was he thought it through. ... Unless something changes, I think that's the way this is gonna go. ... Billy is a pro, a nine-year guy. I guess it surprised me a little bit. I like Billy, and Billy's been doing a good job for us." In 2010, Yates started three games for the Browns before suffering a season-ending biceps injury. The Browns went 2-1 with Yates as a starter.

  • Replacements: With Young and Ward sidelined, Mike Adams and Ray Ventrone played free safety and strong safety, respectively, with the first-team defense. Meanwhile, undrafted rookie Brian Smith served as the first-string strongside linebacker in place of Fujita, and Kaluka Maiava continued to play weakside linebacker for the first unit with Gocong out.

  • Practice highlights and lowlights: Practice was closed to the public because the team thought it would need to practice indoors due to the weather. As it turned out, practice was held outside, but it was still closed to the public. ... Safety Brett Johnson, whom the Browns acquired off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, practiced today. ... Undrafted rookie cornerback James Dockery continued to shine by breaking up a couple of passes. ... Running backs coach Gary Brown repeatedly praised rookie fullback Owen Marecic for blocking well in a 9-on-7 session. ... Rookie cornerback Buster Skrine had a couple of pass breakups while serving as the first-team nickel back. ... During red zone drills, tight end Alex Smith dropped a pass from quarterback Seneca Wallace while sliding in the back of the end zone. ... Quarterback Colt McCoy connected with rookie tight end Jordan Cameron in the end zone. ... Cornerback Joe Haden recorded an interception during 7-on-7. ... In 9-on-7, Hardesty fell to the ground during his first carry, but he bounced back up. ... McCoy connected with wide receiver Brian Robiskie for a long completion in 7-on-7. Cornerback Sheldon Brown covered Robiskie during the play. ... In 11-on-11, Ventrone broke up a pass from McCoy to Smith. ... Hardesty also carried the ball during 11-on-11. ... The final team session ended with a minor scuffle. Offensive lineman Phil Trautwein and defensive lineman Andre Caroll appeared to be involved.

  • For more updates, check out my Twitter profile.


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