Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning before practice. Here are some highlights from his chat with reporters:
Weakside linebacker Chris Gocong (pinched nerve in neck) and tight end Benjamin Watson (hip) will return to practice today, Shurmur said. Gocong has been sidelined since Aug. 8, and Watson has been out since Aug. 28. Watson was expected to come back today, but Gocong's return was uncertain. Will Gocong be able to play Sunday in the Browns' regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals? "Yeah, he's practicing today, and that's the first step," Shurmur said. "So we'll see how he responds to today's practice, as we go through tomorrow and then Friday."
Offensive lineman Tony Pashos is still wearing a walking boot, Shurmur said. Pashos, the projected starter at right tackle, surfaced at practice Monday with the boot on his left leg. Shurmur said Pashos has a sore foot. "They're trying to get that foot to settle down a little bit," Shurmur said. "We'll kind of diagnose where he's at probably tomorrow and see where we'll go." Oniel Cousins is listed as Pashos' backup on the team's depth chart.
Rookie Jason Pinkston is still working with the first-team offense at left guard, but Artis Hicks and John Greco also are in the mix, Shurmur said. No one has officially been named the starter in the spot vacated by Eric Steinbach, who's out for the season after undergoing back surgery. "We haven't finished deciding," Shurmur said. ... "We've got a little bit of a rotation (at left guard)."
Wide receiver Greg Little has won the Maurice Bassett Award, which is given to the Browns' most outstanding rookie in training camp. A vote among reporters determines the winner each year. "I think he's developed," Shurmur said. "Greg's a fun guy to be around. He really is, and I say that because he's a guy that I look for every day, and he's really been doing a good job. We talked earlier in camp (about) how he'd drop a few balls one day or the next, but he's working at it, and he's got a lot of talent."