Browns free safety Usama Young returned to practice today after sitting out Sunday against the Oakland Raiders with a concussion.
Young, a Kent State product, suffered the concussion Nov. 25 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and did not practice last week. Barring a setback, Young could return to action Sunday when the Browns (4-8) host the Kansas City Chiefs (2-10).
The 6-foot, 200-pound Young has started nine of the 10 games in which he’s appeared this season. Undrafted rookie Tashaun Gipson started in place of Young in the Browns’ 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders. He played all 73 of the defensive snaps and finished with a team-high eight tackles.
Coach Pat Shurmur likes what he has seen from Gipson, who rotated with Young at free safety at times this season.
“He can play scrimmage snaps in the secondary,” Shurmur said, “and we’re looking forward to seeing him improve for sure.
“Tashaun Gipson played his most snaps of the year and played a pretty fine game at free safety, which was good.”
All of the players on the Browns’ 53-man roster participated in practice today.
The return of Peyton Hillis
Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis will return to Cleveland, where he spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He signed with the Chiefs in March after a dramatic season with the Browns in which he was plagued by injury and off-the-field distractions.
When asked if he could put Hillis’ tumultuous 2011 season into words, Shurmur declined.
“I’m going to talk about Peyton Hillis, the 2012 version,” he said. “I’d be happy to answer any questions there. No, I won’t put it into words.”
Settling on starters
Shurmur said he has settled on rookie Josh Gordon and Greg Little as his starting wide receivers partly because they’re reliable.
“Gordon and Little have found a way to stay healthy throughout, No. 1, and we’ve had some other receivers behind them for whatever reason have missed a few weeks,” Shurmur said. “So sometimes the guys that show up to work are the ones that for whatever reason – I’m not trying to be funny there -- but you’re looking for players that No. 1, are passionate. You’re looking for guys that are productive, and then, of course, you’re looking for guys that are durable, which means they can stay healthy and stay on the field. That helped give Josh and Greg a little bit of a leg up this year because they’ve been able to, at least to this point, stay on the field.”
Mitchell Schwartz will serve as the Browns’ fourth captain Sunday, Shurmur said. … Shurmur said he watched the premiere of the Travel Channel show NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns.