Browns coach Eric Mangini called the quarterback competition between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn ''very close,'' but continues to believe the starter will emerge in the next two weeks.
''I have experience with this before a couple of different times and I feel that it will probably follow the same path,'' Mangini said. ''If it doesn't and it's close then I'll make the decision and that will be the decision based on what I feel will give us the best chance to win.''
Mangini gave no insight on how long he would play Quinn and Anderson in the third preseason game at home Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. It is generally regarded as the dress rehearsal for the opener.
Mangini is prepared to take the competition right up to the regular season opener Sept. 13 against the Minnesota Vikings, if necessary.
''Like I've said throughout, there's really no set timeline, it has to be done by this day,'' Mangini said. ''It's going to be based on when I feel I have the information I need to make the best decision.''
Pool absent: Starting free safety Brodney Pool was not on the practice field or working with the injured players. Pool has been plagued by concussions during his career, suffering three in his previous four years.
He was hurt on a kickoff in the first half Saturday night against the Detroit Lions and left the field with rubbery legs. He was later seen riding the exercise bike but did not return and did not speak to reporters when leaving the stadium.
Who's not practicing: Ryan Tucker, Shaun Rogers, David Bowens, Jerome Harrison, Pool, and C.J. Mosley, but he may have earned a day off as a off-season program reward.
Offensive lineman Rex Hadnot was back on the field, even though he joined the ranks of the injured working on the exercise bikes.
But it was a major step for Hadnot, who was carted off the field on Aug. 6 with what appeared to be a serious injury to his left knee. He had been working with the first team and appeared to have a shot to unseat Eric Steinbach at left guard.
It was initially feared Hadnot had torn his ACL, but later reports said it was his MCL.
''Fortunately it wasn't what we thought it ... or how bad it could have been,'' Hadnot said. ''I'm fortunate and blessed enough to be back out here and try to get back on the field.
Hadnot said he has no timetable for his return, but believes he can still be effective if he misses the whole preseason.
''Absolutely. But at the same time, it's going to take time. I have to keep an open mind about my situation and come out here and work hard every day, continue to rehab like I have been and let everything fall into place.''
As for regaining a spot with the first team, Hadnot said, ''That's not going to be my decision, that's up to the coaches. I want to continue to get better, continue to work hard and let my performance speak for whatever. That's the way I'm approaching that whole situation.''
Roster moves: Signed were defensive back Tra Battle (Georgia), offensive lineman Corey Hilliard (Oklahoma State) and tight end Nate Jackson (Menlo College). Battle picked off fourth-string quarterback Richard Bartel in his first practice.
Offensive lineman George Foster's contract was terminated, while defensive lineman Melila Purcell was waived/injured and tight end John Madsen was waived.