Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning before practice. The Browns will visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Here are some of the highlights from the news conference:
Defensive end Auston English has been signed to the Browns' 53-man roster to replace defensive end Marcus Benard, who suffered a broken hand in a motorcycle accident on Monday. The Browns also have signed defensive end Kiante Tripp, who spent time with the Atlanta Falcons, to their practice squad, Shurmur said. When asked if Benard is out for the season, Shurmur said, "I think that would be the case." English has been a member of the Browns' practice squad throughout the regular season. He had four sacks in the preseason. "I think you'll see him immediately on special teams. He's a big athlete, a guy that can run," Shurmur said of English. "He's been a guy that's shown up on the practice field in special-teams situations and we'll try to get him in there and get him some snaps. He had production in the preseason, which speaks well for him." The Browns are expected to announce which list Benard will be placed on later today. It could be the non-football injury or illness list. If Benard lands on the non-football injury or illness list, the Browns could decide whether or not to pay him as long as he's on the list.
Shurmur said he talked to Benard this morning, and he thinks Benard is still in the hospital. Shurmur said he wasn't aware that Benard was riding a motorcycle. "I have addressed the team on numerous occasions," Shurmur said. "We want and I want our players to avoid any and all risky behavior. I think it's obvious what some of that may be. It's been addressed. Obviously when something happens, you try to reinforce that that shouldn't be something that players are involved with. But, yes, it's been talked about. It's like anything. You just have to keep going back and revisiting things. ... I have ways of disciplining the players. At this point, when something happens like this, we just want to make sure he's OK, and then we'll move forward from there." When asked if Benard has a future with the Browns, Shurmur said, "I think so, and I'm hopeful that he'll come back healthy and raring to go."
Cornerback Joe Haden (sprained knee) is making progress, but he probably won't be out at practice today, Shurmur said. Center Alex Mack (appendectomy on Oct. 3) will attend practice today as a spectator. "They're both getting better every day," Shurmur said. "It's still too early to speculate as to their availability for Oakland."