BEREA: Browns free safety Usama Young tried to smack his helmet against the ball after Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller caught it, but he missed the target.
“Right at the end, he tucked it, and he had a lineman on his back, too,” Young said Wednesday after practice. “So that’s about 500 or 600 pounds coming at me full speed ahead. And I took the brunt of the hit and was out.”
Young practiced for the first time since the Browns (4-8) beat the Steelers on Nov. 25, when he lost consciousness and suffered a concussion as a result of the hit he absorbed early in the third quarter. He sat out the Browns’ 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders this past weekend but expects to play Sunday when they host the Kansas City Chiefs (2-10).
“I’ve passed all the tests, cleared everything, feeling good, Wednesday took care of practice and looking forward to Sunday,” said Young, a Kent State product.
With Young back in action on a limited basis, the Browns had all 53 players from their active roster practicing Wednesday. Rookie free safety Tashaun Gipson started in Young’s place and played all the defensive snaps against the Raiders. Still, the Browns will likely resume their rotation of Young and Gipson, with the latter playing in the nickel package.
“I’m content with whatever role that I have to play finishing the season,” Gipson said. “I’m just ready to get some wins. That’s really what it’s all about. Usama’s back doing his part, and I’m back in my nickel spot, same thing how we’ve been doing it throughout the whole year. I’m blessed to be in that situation.”
Young also feels blessed to recover quickly from what he said was his first concussion.
“It was a little scary,” Young said. “You want to be smart in this game. It’s a physical game, and anything can happen at anytime from your knees, your head, your neck, whatever. You’ve got to be smart. It’s just one of those things you’ve got to play full speed ahead and pray that nothing bad does happen.”
Fighting through it
Rookie running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, said he took a direct shot to the ribs as he broke a tackle in the first quarter against the Raiders. He suffered a rib cartilage injury Oct. 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I just played through it,” Richardson said. “That was one thing I’ve always known to do and one thing that I’ve always been pushed to do is just fight through it.”
For almost two months, Richardson has been wearing a flak jacket to protect his ribs. Although he has grown accustomed to it, he’s still eager to shed it.
“It just limits me from putting [the ball] in my left hand like I used to a lot,” he said. “Most of the time, I carry the ball in my right hand now. And I’ve got to get out of that because I’m starting to get used to just carrying in my right hand now. I can’t wait until I can finally get [the flak jacket] off and be able to switch to my left hand. I’ll start using my stiff arm more, too.”
Waiting for comeback
Cornerback Dimitri Patterson fully participated in practice Wednesday but said he did not work with the first-team defense. Patterson has missed the past seven games since suffering a left high-ankle sprain and torn ligament Oct. 7. He said he was ready to play Sunday in Oakland, but he was ruled out on Friday and did not travel with the team.
“Am I ready to play? I was ready last week,” Patterson said. “I’ve been ready. So whenever my number’s called, that’s when I’ll play. I think it just comes down to when my number’s called. It hasn’t been called yet. That’s not my decision. You’ve got to check with [coach Pat] Shurmur. You can’t check with me.”
Patterson said he has yet to discuss his status with Shurmur.
“I haven’t had a meeting, so that’s just where we’re at,” Patterson said. “It’s not my place to call meetings. I just come to work every day. I know you guys want an answer, but this is something that’s on the head coach. Coaches make decisions.”
In addition to Young, wide receiver/returner Josh Cribbs (shoulder/chest) and special-teams ace Ray Ventrone (calf) were limited. Ventrone has sat out the past three games but believes he’ll be able to face the Chiefs.
“I felt pretty good today,” Ventrone said. “I think I’ll have a chance to play this week for sure. You work all year to be able to play in 16 games and it’s unfortunate that I had to miss the last couple. So I’m definitely anxious to get back.”
Tight end Jordan Cameron (groin) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (shoulder/finger) fully participated in practice.
For the Chiefs, guard Jeff Allen (illness), defensive end Allen Bailey (ankle), safety Abram Elam (quad), cornerback Brandon Flowers (hamstring), linebacker Derrick Johnson (hamstring) and center/guard Ryan Lilja (knee) did not practice.
Rookie offensive right tackle Mitchell Schwartz will serve as the Browns’ fourth captain Sunday. … Shurmur said he watched NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns, which premiered Tuesday night on Travel Channel. “I think what that show shows you is there’s a lot of very talented, hard-working people behind the scenes that help make this thing go,” Shurmur said. “I hope that’s what folks take away from the episodes that they watch.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com.browns.abj.