Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after his team practiced in preparation for its road game Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Here are some of the highlights from the news conference:
- It will be a game-time decision whether running back Peyton Hillis (hamstring) will play Sunday, Shurmur said. "He's made huge progress this week. He participated throughout practice today. And I think at this point, although I ruled him out early in the week -- and I've said all along these hamstrings come back for some guys quicker than we thought -- I'm gonna make him a game-time decision. So we'll just have to see as we move forward. Again, because he hasn't played ball in a long time, I think it's still important that I'm cautious with his return." Hillis hasn't played in a game since he injured his left hamstring Oct. 16. He tried to come back a few weeks ago, be he aggravated the injury during practice Nov. 4. Shurmur said he hasn't decided whether Hillis, who's pictured to the right, would start Sunday if he's active. "We have running backs coming back from injury, so none of them can handle a full load, and I think that's an important thing to remember," Shurmur said. Hillis said he is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday. Hillis said he believes a platelet rich plasma injection he had a couple of weeks ago helped his hamstring heal.
- Running back Montario Hardesty (calf) will be "ready to roll" Sunday, Shurmur said. Hardesty hasn't played since Oct. 30 against the San Francisco 49ers. "If our backs are healthy then Hillis is the starter, backed up by Montario, backed by (Chris Ogbonnaya)," Shurmur said. "That's what we want."
- Offensive lineman Tony Pashos missed practice today because his wife is in labor, Shurmur said. Pashos is still expected to play Sunday.
- Fullback Owen Marecic (concussion) has chance to play Sunday even though he didn't practice all week, Shurmur said. Defensive end Jayme Mitchell didn't practice today because his ankle is bothering him, Shurmur said. Mitchell's status for Sunday is uncertain, Shurmur said.
- Shurmur said Usama Young is still the starting strong safety in the absence of T.J. Ward, who has been ruled out Sunday with an injured right foot. Young watched today as rookie Eric Hagg took reps with the first-team defense.
- Running back Thomas Clayton has been waived, and defensive lineman Kiante Tripp has been elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, the team announced today.