The Browns held their 14th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what happened.
Storylines: Running back Montario Hardesty and tight end Brad Smelley returned to practice today after missing significant time with hamstring injuries. Hardesty participated in individual drills but not team drills. He’s listed as the second running back on the depth chart, but he needs to stay healthy and show something this preseason to secure a roster spot, especially with the emergence of third-string running back Dion Lewis. “Hardesty coming back, hopefully that continues,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “There is still a lot of preseason left, and he’ll have that opportunity to show us.” The Browns have three exhibition games remaining, with the next one against the Detroit Lions set for Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. As for Smelley, he took some reps in team drills with the second-string offense. It was Hardesty's first action since July 31 and Smelley's first practice since Aug. 1. ... The Browns reprimanded former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar for the harsh comments he made about the St. Louis Rams while serving as an analyst for WKYC (Ch. 3) during the preseason opener Thursday night. But Kosar is still scheduled to work the Browns' next preseason game against the Lions. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher today to apologize, a team spokesman said, and Browns CEO Joe Banner released a statement tonight in an attempt to quash the controversy. For more about Kosar’s comments and subsequent apology, click here.
Position battles: Lewis has sole possession of the top kickoff returner spot on the Browns’ latest depth chart, which was released Saturday night. On the previous version of the depth chart, Lewis and safety Johnson Bademosi shared the No. 1 spot. … Buster Skrine continued to play cornerback opposite Joe Haden with the first-team defense as Chris Owens remained sidelined. Owens strained the arch of his foot this past Wednesday. In team drills, Skrine cut in front of wide receiver Greg Little and broke up a pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden but couldn’t secure the interception. Earlier in practice, Skrine broke up another pass from Weeden to Little.
Highlights: The Browns randomly picked two fans from the crowd today and had them end practice by kicking field goals with something at stake. Chudzinski told the offense’s players they could skip their positional meetings tonight if Anthony Kinney of Shaker Heights made his kick, and the defensive players could do the same if D.J. Rapposelli of Mayfield had a successful attempt. With the ball placed on a tee and at the goal line, both fans made their kicks, and the players mobbed the kickers and cheered as if they had won the Super Bowl. “You get into the doldrums of training camp and [look for] different ways of creating some fun as well,” Chudzinski said. “Of course, I have a special place in my heart for the fans and getting them involved out here in practice. I think everybody enjoys.” … Undrafted rookie cornerback Abdul Kennah had one interception and two pass breakups in team drills. He made all the plays against quarterback Brian Hoyer. Later, in a seven-on-seven session, he broke up a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell. … Weeden threw two impressive deep passes in team drills. Josh Gordon beat the coverage of Skrine and dropped the first one, but fellow wide receiver Travis Benjamin beat the coverage of cornerback Trevin Wade and caught the other. … Gordon used one hand to haul in pass from Weeden on a crossing route. … Little and strong safety T.J. Ward went through hand-fighting drills with the defensive linemen. … Browns owner Jimmy Haslam had a long conversation with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson on the practice field.
Injuries: Wide receivers Jordan Norwood (hamstring) and David Nelson (knee), cornerbacks Owens (foot) and Leon McFadden (groin), fullback Brock Bolen (calf) and offensive linemen Ryan Miller (concussion), Shawn Lauvao (left ankle), Chris Faulk (knee) and Oniel Cousins (ankle) and defensive end Hall Davis (hamstring) sat out.
Monday’s schedule: Practice from 4-6:30 p.m. For updates, call 877-627-6967.