The Browns' leading tackler, linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Buffalo.
Jackson was jogging in the back of the Browns' fieldhouse during the portion of drills open to the media Friday. Jackson did not practice Friday for the second consecutive day with a hamstring injury he said happened in practice. He was limited on Wednesday.
''With D'Qwell, we're hoping D'Qwell can go,'' defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Friday. ''He's doing everything he can to be out there. In typical guys playing in Cleveland Brown fashion, he's getting rehab nine times a day. He wants to play, this guy loves to play and we're hopeful. I'm sure that will come right down to game time to whether he can play.
''If he can't, we've been working a lot of guys. There could be a couple rookies in there. Kaluka, David, those guys have worked hard. If they get in there, they're going to have to do a great job and rise up and help us get a win.''
''I felt I could have gone today,'' Jackson said. ''We're just being cautious. We want to make sure it's something that doesn't linger from week to week. You want to take care of it the right way before something bad happens.''
Jackson leads the Browns with 37 tackles (30 solos) and has one of the team's two forced fumbles. The inside linebacker has started 46 of 47 games played for the Browns since he was drafted in the second round out of Maryland in 2006. He led the team in tackles in 2008 (188) and 2007 (111) and finished second as a rookie (115).
Rookie David Veikune would be the leading candidate to take over if Jackson is unavailable. Veikune, a second-round pick out of Hawaii, has no tackles in four games and has played mainly on special teams.
A week ago, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Veikune wasn't ready.
''I think the young man has lots of talent,'' Ryan said. ''Really comparing him to our other guys, he’s very young. I mean, he’s three weeks into his career. To put him out there right now, it wouldn’t be fair to him or anybody else. He’s constantly improving. I think his physical play and the way the practice were this week, he’s much better.
''Is he ready to take the reins of being middle linebacker in the National Football League right away? I don’t know if any rookie is. That might be a harder position to play than quarterback. I don’t know quarterback, but, shoot, I’m going to say it’s harder.''
That would also appear to be the case for fourth-round pick Kaluka Maiava, who has no tackles and has seen action primarily on special teams.
Ryan believes both Veikune and Maiava have talent.
''It's exciting. These kids are coming on,'' Ryan said after Game 2. ''They’re going to be good players. You can see them growing. It’s like all of a sudden now they have beards. It’s like, ‘Gosh, they’re men now.’ They’re just waiting for their opportunity.
''Both those kids, they’re coming on fast and they’re going to be good players. It’s really exciting to see those guys every day, because they work hard and they’re getting better.''
Also sitting out and listed as doubtful was kicker Phil Dawson, who has missed the past two games with a strained right calf. Questionable are defensive back Mike Adams (groin), offensive linemen Rex Hadnot (knee) and Floyd Womack (ankle), and running back Jamal Lewis (hamstring). The latter four were limited.
For the Bills, four players were listed as out -- safeties Donte Whitner (thumb) and Bryan Scott (ankle), linebacker Paul Posluszny (forarm) and defensive end Chris Ellis (not injury related). Cornerback Ellis Lankster (back) is questionable.