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Browns training camp snapshot: Richardson, Ward sit out team drills; starters to play 1Q Thursday

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 6, 2013

The Browns held their 11th full-squad practice of training camp today. Below is a glance at what unfolded.

Storylines: Running back Trent Richardson (right shin) and strong safety T.J. Ward (hamstring) practiced but did not participate in team drills, a sign they’ll likely get Thursday night off when the Browns host the St. Louis Rams in the preseason opener for both teams. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski, though, has yet to officially rule anyone out. “I’ll give you details tomorrow on specific individuals as we get more medical information,” Chudzinski said today during his post-practice news conference. Richardson returned to action Monday and took three carries during limited action in team drills. He missed the previous two practices after being kicked in the right shin, the same one in which he suffered a strained muscle in the spring. Richardson has vowed to play in all four preseason games, but he also made it clear he would defer to Chudzinski. “We’ll talk to all the players that are in that situation,” Chudzinski said when asked specifically about Richardson. “Whether they play or don’t play, we’ll first assess it and do the smart thing. And then we’ll communicate that with them.” Third-string running back Dion Lewis practiced with the first-team offense today while Richardson watched team sessions. Second-string running back Montario Hardesty continued to sit out with an injured hamstring tendon. As for Ward, he returned to action Monday after missing the previous three practices with a sore hamstring. He still hasn’t participated in team drills. Johnson Bademosi took his spot as the first-team strong safety alongside free safety Tashaun Gipson. On Saturday, Ward said he “definitely” expected to face the Rams, but that expectation won’t be fulfilled if Chudzinski wants Ward to rest. Most of the starters who suit up Thursday will receive about a quarter of playing time. “We’re going to play our starters, for the most part, for about a quarter,” Chudzinski said. “That may vary from individual to individual. We’ll get our second group in there for the second quarter and third quarter. Some of them will be done at halftime. Some will go forward in the third quarter, and then in the fourth quarter, we’ll get some of our third group in there.”

Position battles: Jason Pinkston filled in for Shawn Lauvao at right guard with the first-team offense. Lauvao suffered an injured left ankle Monday and was carted off the field. “It’s still getting evaluated medically,” Chudzinski said today. “I’ll give you updates as I get them tomorrow.” Pinkston left practice today about an hour-and-a-half after it started. Chudzinski excused Pinkston so he could attend a funeral, Browns director of communications Zak Gilbert said. … The following players caught punts in this order: wide receiver Travis Benjamin, Jordan Norwood, Davone Bess and Josh Cooper.

Highlights: Wide receiver Josh Gordon burned rookie cornerback Leon McFadden on a fly route and caught a long pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden in team drills. … Buster Skrine broke up a pass from quarterback Jason Campbell, and fellow cornerback Trevin Wade intercepted it. During the next play, Skrine gave up a long completion against undrafted rookie wide receiver Mike Edwards despite tight coverage. … Quarterback Brian Hoyer placed a deep pass in the hands of wide receiver Dominique Croom, but he dropped the ball. … Bess dived to catch a pass from Weeden. … Wade won a jump ball against wide receiver Tori Gurley, breaking up a pass in the front corner of the end zone. … Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Justin Staples intercepted a pass.

Injuries: Hardesty (hamstring), Lauvao (left ankle), wide receiver David Nelson (knee), fullback Brock Bolen (calf), tight end Brad Smelley (hamstring), defensive end Dave Kruger (concussion) and offensive linemen Ryan Miller (concussion), Chris Faulk (knee) and Oniel Cousins (ankle) sat out.

Wednesday’s schedule: Practice is closed to the general public. The Browns will face the St. Louis Rams at 8 p.m. Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams.

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