Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi returned to practice today and stuck to his version of the story by insisting he did not suffer any symptoms of a concussion in the Browns’ preseason opener Friday night against the Detroit Lions.
“I feel great, always felt great, never developed a symptom or anything,” Massaquoi said this morning following the Browns’ 14th full-squad practice of training camp. “Everything that was done was strictly precautionary because of the type of the hit, the way that the hit looked. So I’m excited just to play right now, and now we’re gonna keep moving forward.”
In his post-game news conference at Ford Field, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said Massaquoi suffered a concussion when he caught a 12-yard pass during the team’s first offensive play and took a hit from Lions safety Erik Coleman. Massaquoi disputed he had a concussion when he responded to a fan on Twitter Friday night by writing, “No! Precautionary! Cant wait to get back to work!”
On Sunday, Shurmur insisted Massaquoi had a concussion. He also said he dislikes Twitter.
“You know how I feel about tweets and twitters number one,” Shurmur said. “I told you what happened and that’s what happened, so I don’t know. I only hear what gets tweeted, but he had a concussion and we’re treating it as so.
“I don’t like [Twitter]. That’s my policy. I encourage [players] not to [tweet], and I think it’s important that they don’t. I don’t think you can totally harness social media. I’ve come to that realization, but what I can do is encourage and inspire them to be very professional and not talk about Browns business. That’s just my feeling on it.”
Massaquoi joked about the situation today.
“Tweeting is a new-age thing,” he said. “Pat’s a little older, so he doesn’t really understand it. But we’re gonna keep certain things in house as far as Twitter goes. We’re not gonna give any game plans or anything like that or give too many updates, which may hinder something that we’re trying to do. But Twitter’s fun. Hopefully I can get Pat to get one.”
Shurmur said Massaquoi and defensive end Marcus Benard, who also returned to practice today, might play Thursday night in the Browns’ exhibition game on the road against the Green Bay Packers. Both players participated in 11-on-11 drills today.
Massaquoi said he was removed from the game against the Lions because the independent observer who’s assigned monitors head injuries from the press box alerted the Browns’ medical staff about the hit Coleman delivered. The NFL has ramped up its in-game precautionary measures involving concussions since Browns quarterback Colt McCoy re-entered the Dec. 8 game last year against the Pittsburgh Steelers after receiving a concussion as a result of a vicious, helmet-to-face mask hit from linebacker James Harrison.
“It was just a good shot by Erik Coleman,” Massaquoi said. “He came down and the hit was very forceful. So they have a spotter up top now who watched for things like that. So I’m glad that we have a great medical staff that watches for things like that, and they take precautionary action to make sure nothing comes out of it.
“It’s good in a sense just to make sure that nothing comes out of it. But at the same time, sometimes people are over cautious. I’m just happy that nothing did come out of it. I’m happy to be here right now. I’m excited moving forward and just continue progression.”
Massaquoi said he tried to convince medical personnel to grant him permission to re-enter the game.
“Of course, but at that moment, you have to abide by the rules, you have to abide by the protocol, which we did,” Massaquoi said. “We have a first-class organization. Our trainers, they do a great job just making sure that nothing comes out of it. And that’s what happened.”
Massaquoi has a history of head injuries. He suffered concussions in each of the past two seasons, missing a game in 2010 after taking a hit from Harrison and three-plus games in 2010 after absorbing a blow against the Seattle Seahawks.
“It was a good shot,” Massaquoi said of his latest scare. “I got up from it, so that feels good ‘cause you know every time somebody touches you, you’re not gonna fall over and have to go through another concussion.”
The following 12 players were sidelined today during practice: running back Trent Richardson (surgery on left knee last Thursday), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (right ankle), strong safety Usama Young (reported hamstring), weakside linebacker Chris Gocong (out for the season with a torn right Achilles tendon), middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (reported shoulder soreness), defensive tackle Scott Paxson (right knee), wide receiver Travis Benjamin (Shurmur cited soreness), tight end Benjamin Watson (undisclosed), tight end Jordan Cameron (back), defensive end Frostee Rucker (right knee), defensive tackle Phil Taylor (pectoral surgery in May) and strongside linebacker Scott Fujita (left leg).
Gocong had surgery Friday to repair a torn right Achilles tendon, Shurmur said. … Colt McCoy will serve as the No. 2 quarterback against the Packers, Shurmur said. McCoy filled the same role in the preseason opener.