Starting right defensive end Frostee Rucker (shoulder/hip) and tight end Jordan Cameron (head) did not practice today.
Rucker said he expects to play Sunday when the Browns (5-9) visit the Denver Broncos (11-3). Cameron was not in the locker room today.
Rucker suffered his injury this past weekend in the second half of the Browns’ 38-21 loss to the Washington Redskins.
Wide receiver Jordan Norwood practiced today for the first time since he injured his left foot Oct. 7 against the New York Giants. Norwood is on injured reserve but designated for return.
Shurmur acknowledged the Browns’ offensive line will have its hands full with the Broncos’ standout pass rushers. Strongside linebacker Von Miller, a defensive player of the year candidate, has 16 sacks, and right defensive end Elvis Dumervil has nine.
“We’ve got to block those guys so they don’t wreck the game,” Shurmur said. “Our guys know the challenge, and we’ve just got to go do it.”
Why the cut?
Shurmur refused to explain why the Browns cut cornerback Dimitri Patterson on Monday. Patterson re-signed with the Browns for three years and $16 million, including $6 million guaranteed, in March. He was awarded to the Miami Dolphins off waivers Tuesday.
“I’m not going to talk about the whys or what-fors there,” Shurmur said. “I will say this, though: I’m happy for him that he’s going to be able to finish out the year in Miami. That’ll be great for him.”
Weakside linebacker Kaluka Maiava will serve as the Browns’ fourth captain Sunday. Shurmur said he has not considered letting rookie running back Trent Richardson (rib) rest for the final two games of the season. … With T.J. Ward (knee) on injured reserve, Shurmur said Usama Young will start at strong safety and Tashaun Gipson at free safety. … With rookie James-Michael Johnson (knee) on IR, L.J. Fort, Craig Robertson and Tank Carder are candidates to play strongside linebacker in the base defense, Shurmur said. Robertson will continue to play linebacker alongside D’Qwell Jackson in the nickel package, and the Browns plan to play a lot of nickel against the Broncos. … The Browns signed tight end George Bryan to the practice squad. The Dallas Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent from North Carolina State University in April and waived him in June.