Green Bay Packers at Browns
When: 7:30 tonight.
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Broadcast: TV — WKYC (Channel 3); Radio — WMMS (100.7-FM), WTAM (1100-AM), WAKR (1590-AM).
Records: Browns (5-11 last season); Packers (10-6 last season; 4-0 in the postseason).
Breakdown: The Browns’ Pat Shurmur will make his preseason debut as an NFL head coach against a team with which he has strong ties. Shurmur’s late uncle Fritz was the Packers’ defensive coordinator in 1994-98 and coached in the league for 24 seasons. Shurmur’s new boss, Browns President Mike Holmgren, coached the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI, when Fritz controlled the defense. Now Shurmur will get to test his new team’s progress against one of the elite organizations. The Browns defeated the Packers 27-24 in the exhibition opener last year, but the two teams have gone in opposite directions since. The Browns went through three quarterbacks, stumbled to their third consecutive losing season, fired coach Eric Mangini and hired Shurmur as his replacement. The Packers qualified for the playoffs, got hot and eventually defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. Although preseason scores are meaningless, the Browns hope to get some answers tonight. Shurmur must determine what quarterback Colt McCoy and Co. need to work on to effectively run the West Coast offense by the team’s Sept. 11 regular-season opener. The Packers’ 3-4 defense, led by linebacker Clay Matthews, should certainly provide an adequate challenge. Meanwhile, Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron must discover how his players are adapting to his 4-3 scheme. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will exploit any weaknesses in Jauron’s men. Rodgers completed 12-of-13 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in 1½ quarters of play in the preseason opener last year against the Browns.
Injuries: The following Packers either sat out or were injured during practice Thursday, according to reports: wide receiver Brett Swain (hamstring), tight end Jermichael Finley (glute), offensive guard Adrian Battles (Achilles), offensive tackle Chris Campbell (unspecified), linebacker Diyral Briggs (hamstring), safety Brandon Underwood (knee), cornerbacks Davon House (hamstring), Brandian Ross (hamstring) and Sam Shields (hip pointer), nose tackles Chris Donaldson (shoulder) and B.J. Raji (ankle sprain) and running back Alex Green (thigh strain). The following Browns either sat out or were injured during practice Thursday: free safety Usama Young (hamstring), linebacker Chris Gocong (stinger), wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (left foot), running back Montario Hardesty (torn ACL in his left knee last year), strong safety Eric Hagg (left knee), defensive end Jabari Fletcher (right knee) and offensive lineman Dominic Alford (limited in practice; back).
— Nate Ulrich